How to make the perfect challah

A Jewish staple. How do you make yours?

  • place PRE 20 mins
  • place COOK 30 minutes
  • printicon

Tami Isaacs Pearce of Karma Bread is seen by many as the challah queen of north west London. She has shared her personal recipe for the best possible challah with the JC - and you can watch the two of us making our own versions, filmed at Cameo Kitchens, in the video below.

Follow these steps for a classic treat you can enjoy on Friday nights … or almost any time.

  • Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add the egg, egg yolk and oil.
  • Slowly add the water, mixing as you go. Only add 200ml initially. Mix all the ingredients and get a feel of the dough as it starts to come together. If you feel the need, add more water, drop by drop. The consistency should moist and pliable, with the dry ingredients absorbing the wet.
  • Turn out onto a lightly oiled, clean surface. Scrape your bowl clean with the dough.
  • Start to work the dough with the heal of your hands, stretching the dough away from you and bringing it back to you. Scrape the surface if the dough is sticking but do not add more flour.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, then form it into a ball, oil your bowl, then roll the dough ball lightly around the bowl.
  • Cover with cling film or a wet clean cloth and leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
  • Beat the second egg, and line your baking tray with non-stick parchment.
  • Check the dough is ready by pressing it gently. If your finger leaves an indentation, it is ready.
  • Turn it out onto clean surface, and for a medium size challah, weigh out 600g.
  • Divide this into 3 or 4 equal amounts and roll them into strands and plait. Place the plaited challah on a lined oven tray and cover, leaving to rise in a draft-free place for a further 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C (fan).
  • When beautifully risen (slight indentation), brush well with the beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds.
  • Place in the middle of oven for around 30 mins.
  • The mini rolls should be ready after about 20 mins — your kitchen will start to smell of fresh baked challah and they will look nicely golden brown on top. The loaf will take about 10 minutes more. If it is overbrowning cover lightly with a sheet of foil.
  • It is ready when the underside is golden brown.

Remove from oven and slide onto a wire rack to cool.


500g strong white bread flour

60g caster sugar

8g dried yeast

10g salt

1 whole egg plus one yolk

1 egg for egg wash

60ml sunflower oil

200-250ml water (at room temp)

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