Butternut Squash and Sage Challah

READY IN: 4hrs 28mins




  • Place vegetable oil and fresh sage leaves in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Heat through until sage becomes fragrant, around 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit 25-30 minutes. Strain sage leaves but do not discard. Finely chop leaves and return to oil.
  • In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 1 1/4 cups warm water. Mix thoroughly. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, butternut squash and 3/4 cup sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamly, add to the flour mixture along with oil and chopped sage leaves. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add another cup of flour and 2 eggs and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.
  • Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic. You can do this in a bowl with a wooden spoon, in a stand mixer with the dough attachment, or once the dough becomes pliable enough, on a floured surface with the heels of your hands. Dough will be done when it bounces back to the touch, is smooth without clumps and is almost shiny.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise at least 3 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Braid challah into desired shape. Allow challah to rise another 45-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown and challah seems light. This step is very important to ensure a light and fluffy challah.
  • In a small bowl beat two egg yolks with 1 tsp water.
  • Brush egg wash liberally over challah. Sprinkle with chopped fresh sage and thick sea salt.
  • If making one large challah, bake around 27-28 minutes; if making two smaller challahs, bake 24-26 minutes.
  • Enjoy!