Most recipes for challah make two loaves, which is way too many for one person. This one is different. It’s a single loaf challah recipe, made in the Kitchenaid.
If you’re not familiar with challah (pronounced like the “ch” in “loch”), it is a sweetened bread that is somewhat similar to a French brioche. The difference is that challah is usually made with vegetable oil instead of butter (so that those keeping kosher can have it with a meat meal). Incidentally, the leftovers make fantastic French toast.
Challah is traditionally served every Friday night as part of the Jewish Sabbath observance. The bread is usually braided, into three, six, or even twelve strands. I read recently that it might be to emphasize unity; another post suggested that the three strands represent truth, peace, and justice. Poppy or sesame seeds are manna falling from heaven.
Usually, the braided loaves end up long and narrow (a bit like an Italian bread). However, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we make them round, to symbolize unity (no beginning and no end), unending blessings, and maybe even “the circle of life.”
This particular recipe was originally by Joan Nathan, which made two loaves. That recipe was then adapted by Deb Perlman (of Smitten Kitchen). Deb’s version was then revised to a single loaf by Jenny at Cuban Reuben and slightly adapted again by me. It’s almost biblical, isn’t it: Joan’s recipe begat Deb’s, Deb’s begat Jenny’s, and Jenny’s begat mine!
I did make a few changes. First, I used instant yeast instead of active dry yeast. And second, I found that I didn’t need four eggs, plus a yolk. Three plus the yolk were plenty.
Single Loaf Challah Recipe for Kitchenaid
A delicious single loaf challah recipe, perfect for the high holidays, Shabbat dinner, or just because you want a rich, eggy bread (think brioche's cousin).
- 1½ tsp instant yeast (or one packet active dry yeast, which is 2¼ tsp)
- 1½ tsp plus ¼ cup sugar
- ¾-1 cup warm water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½ tsp table salt
- 4 cups flour
- Remove the bowl from your stand mixer (preferably a KitchenAid). Pour the yeast, 1½ tsp sugar, and the water into the bowl and stir it all together with a long spoon. Use more water if the weather is dry, and less if it's humid. If you use the instant yeast, you can go to the next step. If you use active dry yeast, let it sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly and foaming.
- Attach the paddle to your mixer. Now add the vegetable oil, two of the eggs (one at a time), the egg yolk, the rest of the sugar, and the salt, and mix that on Speed 2 (KitchenAid) to combine everything together.
- Gradually mix in the flour, adding about ½ a cup at a time.
- Once the dough forms a solid ball, swap the paddle for the bread hook. Knead about 5-8 minutes. f you don't have a KitchenAid, you can do it by hand, but it will take longer (10-12 minutes).
- The dough is kneaded enough when it looks smooth and elastic, and you can pull it without tearing. If it looks shaggy and bristly, add more flour. If it's dry, add more water.
- Coat a clean bowl with about a capful of vegetable oil. Add the ball of dough and cover it with plastic. I generally use a plastic bag from the supermarket. A shower cap will work too. Don't wrap it too tightly, you want to leave room for the dough to expand.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour. Then punch it down with your fist, cover it again, and let it rise for another two hours.
- You're now ready to braid the challah. Sprinkle some flour on a counter or board, and sprinkle a bit more on your hands (to keep it from sticking).
- Cut the dough into three pieces with a sharp knife. Take each piece and roll it out with your hands into a strand that is about 12 inches long. Pinch the strands together at one end. Then braid the strands together. Once that's done, wrap them all around in a circle. Tuck the ends in underneath the loaf. Transfer the challah to a nonstick cookie sheet.
- Crack the last egg and beat it lightly. Brush about half the egg over the bread. Let it sit again, covered, for another hour.
- Then brush it again with the rest of the egg.
- While the bread is on its final rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the last rise is finished, and the oven is hot, bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. If you want, open the oven halfway through the cooking process, and brush the challah again with any remaining egg (this fills in any bare spots as the bread expands).
Single Loaf Challah Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- For an extra-sweet new year, mix 1 cup of raisins into the dough before you braid it.
- Or, swap out the sugar and sweeten the recipe with honey instead
- Top the challah with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or salt
Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe
A bench scraper is especially helpful for challah. First, it makes it much easier to divide the dough into equal parts for braiding. Secondly, there are measurements printed right on the edge, so you can make sure you are cutting the pieces evenly. Use this for challah, for chopping, or for transferring diced veggies from your cutting board to a pot.
Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch
Buying those individual yeast packets costs a fortune. This is much more budget-friendly. It’s an entire pound of instant yeast. That means you can make dozens of loaves out of one package. And, since it’s instant yeast, it starts to work right away. You don’t have to let it sit in warm water waiting for the yeast to activate.
More Kitchenaid Bread Recipes
Single Loaf Easy White Bread Recipe
New to making bread? This one is super-easy. It has only five ingredients, and you don’t have to shape it. Plus, there’s no need for a special pan. Just use a regular baking sheet (like for cookies).
Kitchenaid Potato Bread Recipe
Adding potatoes ensures that this bread is moist and tender, like the bread you’d buy in a package. Except this has no preservatives or additives. Plus, you get to enjoy the smell wafting through your home as it bakes. Nothing like that fresh bread smell!
One Loaf Kitchenaid Sandwich White Bread
Perfect for sandwiches, this bread is light, tender, but still sturdy enough to hold up to a pile of meat and cheese, chicken salad, or good old PB and J.
Kitchenaid Honey Oat Bread Recipe
A bit sweet, with oats mixed in and sprinkled on top. That makes it more nutritious and adds body to the bread. This is great for toast (especially cinnamon toast).
Still want more? Here’s a whole page full of bread tips and recipes, including baguettes, Italian bread, and sandwich bread.
17 thoughts on “Single Loaf Challah Recipe for Kitchenaid Stand Mixer”
Challah is so well baked and looks delicious!!
Thank you! It was, in fact, delicious!
Made my first ever challah using your recipe (with an additional yolk). Great recipe thank you.
Thank you – when you write, after oiling the clean bowl, to cover it with plastic, do you mean the bowl or the ball of dough?
I mean put plastic wrap (or a bag) over the bowl with the dough in it. You don’t want to wrap the dough itself (like a pie dough). It needs room to rise.
I am 40 min into the first rise and it has hardly risen? This has never happened before for me while making bread. This is my first Challah, the yeast is fresh, I used active dry yeast and the correct measurement for that type of yeast, as in your recipe. I have a kitchen Aid and it kneaded the dough for 8 min. What could have went wrong?
To rise properly, yeast needs warmth (but not too much) and humidity.
You might try putting it in a “warm” oven. If you have an electric stove, or a gas stove with an electric start, turn the oven on to the lowest setting for one minute, then turn it off and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool down. You want a temperature of about 80 degrees.
If you have an oven with a pilot light, just put the dough in (without turning the oven on).
Then, run some water in the sink until it gets very warm. Fill a shallow pan with the water and put that in the back of the oven. This will create the warm, humid environment the yeast needs to work.
This is a great recipe. I added a tablespoon of brown sugar to make it sweeter.
Thanks Amy. I’m glad you liked it.
Looking forward to making this. If I buy a Magic Mill 11″ Heavy Duty Non-Stick Challah Pan is that the right size for this recipe? Or should I get a smaller size? Also, if I want to substitute honey, what is the amount. Thanks again, Cindy
You can certainly buy a special pan if you want, but I just use a standard baking sheet. As for the honey, 1/4 C plus 1 1/2 tsp sugar would be 3T of honey. Use a lighter variety, a strong one will overpower the taste of the challah. Since the honey will brown faster than sugar, reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees. You may also need to add some baking soda (about 1/8 tsp). It will react with the honey and help the bread rise.
My first time making challah and it came absolutely perfect! Thank you for the recipe. Next time I will make two small ones though, this one was quite large!
Was my first time making a challah and it came out great!
Looks like a great recipe. If I use a silicone braiding pan like royal’s challah pan would I just skip the braiding but still proof the dough twice before putting it in the pan, then do the final rise in the pan. The pan states ti bake it 375 degrees. Would I just adjust cooking time?
Also my oven has a proof setting would that work for proofing this dough?
I have never tried a braiding pan. Not braiding the dough and putting it in a mold will change the baking characteristics because less of it is exposed to the air and heat (steam).
I do it the old-fashioned way. It’s pretty easy (assuming no disability) to just do a three-part braid (there are harder versions, but I avoid them).
The thing with silicone is that it doesn’t conduct heat all that well. So breads won’t brown. Likely why they call for a higher temperature. Also the bread may not rise as well.
I have a plain, ordinary oven without any bells and whistles, so I can’t comment from experience on the oven proofing setting, but a friend has one and has used it for standard bread with good results.