Challah rolls

Challah rolls

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

Where I live in north London, challah is available from just about every bakery. It is a traditional Jewish bread, made from an enriched dough. On a Sunday morning, nothing beats a fresh challah roll with breakfast: it tastes flippin’ fantastic! It can be made into a plaited loaf, but I like to make up a mass of dough, roll it out into loads of little sausages and shape rolls with my wife and kids. Everyone takes a turn and it’s always fun seeing what our creations turn out like. Have a go at this; it’s surprisingly easy to make.


Quantity Ingredient
500g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
1 tablespoon ‘quick’ yeast
2 teaspoons table salt
45g caster sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus more to sprinkle
50ml vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg extra, lightly beaten, to brush
170ml water

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
tape measure
baking tray
pastry brush
wire cooling rack


  1. Put the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and poppy seeds in a bowl, making sure you add the salt and yeast to opposite sides of the bowl, and mix together with a wooden spoon. Add the 50ml of oil, honey, the 2 eggs and the water and mix with the spoon until it has combined enough to handle, then keep mixing by hand until all the flour comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–10 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl and put the dough back in it. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 2–3 hours, or until doubled or tripled in size.
  3. Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface once more and knead just to knock out the air.
  4. To make each roll, take about 50 g of dough and roll into a sausage about 30 cm long; this forms the basis of each of the rolls you will be making. Make different shapes of roll. Once the rolls have been assembled, place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, leaving enough space between them for the dough to expand without the rolls sticking together.
  5. Brush with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover with a plastic bag – the bag shouldn’t touch the rolls but should form a tent around them – and leave to rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Bake the rolls for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on the colour towards the end of the bake, as enriched dough and egg wash can burn quite easily. If they start to look burnt, they’ll be overdone.
  7. Take out and cool on a rack; eat them all, then wish you had made double the quantity...


  • This recipe has a level 3 (advanced) difficulty.


  • This dough is so versatile: you can make simple loaves or you can plait the dough using as many strands as your mind can cope with. You can use sesame seeds instead of poppy seeds. Apparently challah makes great toast, but I’ve never had enough left over to find out!
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