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challah rolls in a bread basket with a grey napkin underneath

Challah Rolls

These Knotted Challah Rolls have a light and airy soft crumb interior and golden brown crust. They are simple to make and delightful to eat!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Course: All Recipes, Appetizer, Bread, Dinner, Lunch, Main, Side, Sides, Snack
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 220kcal


Flour Paste (Tangzhong)

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons bread flour

Challah Dough

  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 ¾ cup bread flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray

Egg Wash


Make the Flour Paste:

  • Whisk water and flour in a bowl until no lumps remain.
  • Microwave, whisking every 20 seconds, until mixture thickens to stiff, smooth, pudding-like consistency that forms a mound when dropped from the end of a whisk into the bowl, about 40 to 80 seconds.

Make the Challah Dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour paste from Step 1, egg and yolks, water, and oil until well combined.
  • Add flour and yeast.
  • Fit mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, add the sugar and salt to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 9 minutes (dough will be quite firm and dry).
  • Transfer dough to a clean counter and lightly spray the now-empty mixer bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Knead the dough briefly to form a ball and return it to the oiled bowl. Lightly spray the dough with nonstick cooking spray and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until about doubled in volume, about 1 ½ hours.

Shape into Rolls:

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and stack the parchment-lined baking sheet on top of second baking sheet to prevent the bottom of the bread from getting too browned or burnt.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean counter and press into an 8-inch square, expelling as much air as possible.
  • Using a bench scraper or very sharp knife, cut the dough into 10 evenly sized portions.
  • You can be precise by weighing the dough then dividing that weight by 10 to determine the weight of each roll. Or you can eyeball it.
  • Working with one portion at a time, divide it into 2 pieces and roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope. Press the ends of the ropes together at one end, then twist the ropes around each other. Holding the joined end with one hand, coil the twisted ropes around that end, pinching the other end under the coil to hold it in place (be sure it’s really pinched together, as it may come apart while rising if it’s not held in place well enough).
  • Repeat with the remaining portions.
  • Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough does not spring back fully when gently pressed with your knuckle, about 3 hours.

Make the Egg Wash:

  • 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  • Whisk together egg and salt. Brush the rolls gently with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or everything bagel seasoning, if using.


  • Bake until rolls are deep golden brown and register at least 195ºF (90ºC), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.


  • Rolls can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days. Refrigerate for up to 1 week
  • To freeze, place in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour. Transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove from the freezer and allow rolls to come to room temperature or place in the microwave on 50% power for about 60 seconds
  • This challah can be made with raisins. Adding the raisins in towards the end of the 9 minute kneading at the end of step 2. Add about ¾ - 1 cup (118 - 158 grams) of raisins into the dough and continue kneading until well incorporated. Continue with the recipe as written
  • Recipe adapted from Cook’s illustrated Magazine, May & June 2019
  • Please note: If you increase the serving size using the ‘servings’ feature above the ingredients, the grams measurements will not change. To calculate grams measurements for increased cup sizes, you can use an online calculator such as bakingcalculator.com


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5.7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 74.1mg | Sodium: 373.6mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 5.2g
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