Ma's Whole Wheat Honey Challah

"Here is my recipe. It looks more difficult than it really is so don't hesitate. I make this every week. There is a story that goes with the addition of the poppyseeds. This recipe really does require a good stand mixer. Don't get in a hurry just enjoy the experience and plan on the children wanting to braid and get involved. Pinch off a bit of dough and give it to them."
photo by Chef Glaucia photo by Chef Glaucia
photo by Chef Glaucia
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins
2 loaves




  • Place the warm water in the mixing bowl and add yeast, oil, honey, and salt. Mix well and let set 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and for an extra rich dough add the sixth yolk and set the white aside. Do not add the final egg.
  • To this mixture now add all the bread flour and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour and the gluten. Mix for a 2 minutes.
  • Add flax, and poppy seeds.
  • Add in the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. It may take more or less. Take your time, at least five minutes. Switching to dough hooks when needed. Do not get in a hurry.
  • When you have a nice soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, dump it onto a slightly floured counter and knead until you push on the dough with your index finger and it springs back.
  • Put the dough into a large sprayed bowl, cover with a linen tea towl, non-terry, and set in a warm place to double.
  • When doubled punch down and knead slightly.
  • Cut dough in 1/2 and then each 1/2 into 3 pieces. Roll each piece on the counter to form tubes and braid these tubes to form two loaves. Be sure to pinch and tug your ends under. Braid up, lifting each strand to make snug. You are not wanting length but heighth.
  • Place each loaf into the center of a sprayed cookie sheet and let almost double. While rising preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • When almost doubled. Beat your reserved white and egg. Use this to glaze your loaves and then sprinkle with poppyseed and kosher salt.
  • Bake to a golden rich brown. This generally takes 35-40 minutes.
  • Additional note: For the Rosh Hashanah add 1/2 cup of mixed dried diced fruits and nuts at the end of the initial mixing of the flours. Do not braid but form two large tubes and use them to make two crown shaped spirals, like a turban, pinching and tucking the ends. When glazed sprinkle with almond slivers and course ground sugar.

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  1. Ma, we REALLY liked this bread ! It is so tender and delicious and so easy to make ( and good for you ) . I halved the recipe and ommited the poppy seed in the dough, but sprinkled it on top of the bread. I've already bake it 3 times this week :o) !!! Thank you so much !!!


I am the mother of a Jewish family. Our children range in age from 30 to 8 years old. I have two grandsons. I love to bake and cook with all of them sharing tips and secrets and laughs and sorrows. I find the kitchen is one of the places where the life blood of our family centers. We raise miniature dachshunds and pekingese on the side and have homeschool our children for over 16 years. <img src="">
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