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Enjoy a plain or cinnamon-raisin version of challah bread with this recipe from Diana Margaritis of Diane's Bakery and Panini Cafe.

  • Yield: Makes two 8-inch round loaves


For the challah:

  • 2 tablespoons active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 6 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, plus more for bowl and pans
  • 2 tablespoons soy oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat honey
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the cinnamon-raisin challah (optional):

  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg white


  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 4 teaspoons sugar; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together boiling water, margarine, soy oil, salt, honey, and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar until mixture becomes lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  3. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Add 5 cups flour and wheat germ; mix until combined. Continue adding enough of the remaining cup of flour until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto work surface; knead until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes, dusting work surface lightly with flour if dough begins to stick.

  4. Coat the interior of a large bowl with margarine; transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, coat the interior of two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans with margarine; set aside.

  5. Turn dough out onto work surface and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, divide into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch long rope. Braid ropes and transfer to one of the prepared pans, fitting into circle. Repeat process with remaining half or use remaining half to make a Cinnamon-Raisin Challah loaf (see next step).

  6. Place currants in medium bowl; add enough boiling water to cover, and set aside. Form remaining piece of dough into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Brush with egg. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over dough. Drain currants and sprinkle over cinnamon-sugar mixture; cover with wax paper. Using a rolling pin, gently press cinnamon-sugar mixture and currants into dough. Remove wax paper and roll dough lengthwise, like a jelly roll. Shape roll into a round and transfer to remaining prepared pan. Using clean kitchen scissors, snip six 3/4-inch deep incisions around top of roll.

  7. Let stand until dough is puffed and has risen above the edges of the pans, about 1 hour.

  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water for challah or remaining tablespoon sugar and egg white for the cinnamon-raisin challah. Brush tops of loaves with egg mixture. Transfer to oven and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Reviews (13)

  • Mia Sumandea 6 Jun, 2012

    very good

  • bakergirl123 11 Dec, 2011

    Made a few changes based on my pantry....OMG best Challah ever. My 2 sons and I ate every tasty morsel! My subs were butter for margarine, canola for soy, ground flax for wheat germ and orange blossom honey. Cannot say enough good things....I made one plain and one with cinnamon-sugar. This dough is a dream although I always seem to need more flour. Make this TODAY!

  • frenchdaisy 21 Nov, 2011

    also which oil replaces soy?

  • frenchdaisy 21 Nov, 2011

    I can't find the soy oil or the buckwheat honey at whole foods nor publix in florida.

    Any suggestions where I can get these two?

  • carleenj 28 Sep, 2011

    Saw this on TV on one of my recorded episodes last night, and got excited & made it today. It looks fantastic, smells fantastic, tastes fantastic!! I made the fruit one - yum! Nice & easy instructions, great dough to work with. Rose beautifully as advertised & looks like something from a store. Wow! Haven't made a fruit yeast bread like this before, but I think there'll be more. I used butter, not margarine. i halved the recipe & made only one - big mistake! It's nearly all gone.Make two...!!

  • kitchnchic 28 Sep, 2011

    This looks sooooo good! I will make this for sure... Wish you had a way to print it on the recipe.. Thanks

  • Superpup 28 Sep, 2011

    Print and save options are at the bottom of the vertical bar on the far left of the screen, under the Tweet button.

  • lliillaa 28 Sep, 2011

    The lack of a print command (and adding it to the lame new shopping list app doesn't really help) makes the website much less user friendly. Horrible "upgrade".

  • elysee 27 Sep, 2011

    It seems that you have to add this to your Shopping List and then save it to the Recipe Box. You can print out the list and receipe from there.

  • carolcooks 27 Sep, 2011

    Where is the print link and the archives, I used both very often. Working people need these links.

  • JannetteB 27 Sep, 2011

    I have not seen the "print link" on recipes from the past few days. Could you please put the link back up on each recipe page? Thank you!!!

  • JanetM52 27 Sep, 2011

    I'd love to try this recipe! I'm actually makingWhole Wheat Challah dough in my bread machine today, so I'd also like to save this recipe for another day! Thanks!

  • Bettyt 27 Sep, 2011

    usually you are able to save a recipe to your collection but I do not see the link on this one. Why is that?

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