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I am so excited to share this recipe which has been in the works for months. When King Arthur Baking announced that its recipe of the year for 2021 is Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls, I jumped right on board. The secret to their “perfectly pillowy” rolls is tangzhong, which we will get to in just a moment. I loved the pillowy-ness of that dough so much, having never made a tangzhong dough. I then became obsessed — I mean, obsessed — with converting my Challah recipe to a Tangzhong Challah.

overhead view of two loaves of tangzhong challah, one resting on the other, with a bowl of honey.
Tangzhong Challah is fluffy and doughy!

What is Tangzhong?

Tangzhong is an Asian technique, often used in milk bread, whereby a small portion of the recipe’s flour is cooked with some of the liquid (usually milk and/or water) to create a paste. The cooking process generally takes 1-3 minutes. From a technical standpoint, the cooked concoction gelatinizes the starches in the flour. The result is that the starches can absorb more liquid, creating a moister bread. The tangzhong method can also make the dough rise a bit more and cause the baked bread to stay fresh longer.

Why Tangzhong Challah?

One of the first tangzhong challah recipes out there is by America’s Test Kitchen. I honestly have never made their recipe because I love the flavor of my Challah recipe (loaded with egg yolks and honey) which I became obsessed with converting to tangzhong! That said, America’s Test Kitchen tangzhong challah looks so pretty, and they provide helpful braiding tips.

The Challenge to Convert Challah to Tangzhong Challah

King Arthur Baking has a great article on How to Convert a Bread Recipe to Tangzhong. If you’re interested in the science and math behind converting a recipe to tangzhong, this is the place to start. As mentioned in that article, the recipe generally needs to contain a somewhat high hydration for the tangzhong to work. The problem I encountered is that challah dough generally is low hydration. I suspect that this is the reason why there are not too many tangzhong challah recipes out there. After many tries, I found that I could get the dough to come together even with the addition of more water to the recipe.

For me, I loved the challenge of bringing tangzhong to a low-hydration dough like challah. The key step I took away from America’s Test Kitchen was to allow the flour to autolyse with all the liquid (including the tangzhong) in the recipe. Autolyse simply means allowing the flour and the liquid to rest, after just being mixed, for a period of time, usually 20 minutes. The autolyse allows the flour to absorb the liquid which makes kneading the dough much easier and helps to create a stronger dough.

The end result of my challenge, after many attempts, is a fluffy, delicious challah that has an extended shelf-life. This Tangzhong Challah has now become my go-to challah recipe. I have not yet done so, but I suspect that it will be phenomenal to use this Tangzhong Challah dough to make Onion Rolls.

How to Make Tangzhong

Tangzhong is actually incredibly simple and easy to make. All we are doing is cooking a small portion of the recipe’s flour with five times that amount (by weight) of water.

So, for this recipe, we are using 40 grams of bread flour and 200 grams of water. Whisk the two together in a saucepan so that the flour is fully hydrated. Over a medium-low flame, cook the mixture. Initially, just whisk occasionally. As it starts to heat up, start whisking constantly. It should only take approximately 1-3 minutes to cook.  (You can also make tangzhong in the microwave. In a microwave safe bowl, whisk the flour with the water to hydrate the flour. Microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk the flour mixture. Microwave for 15 seconds. Whisk again and keep repeating until the paste is formed.)

Technically, you want to cook it to 149° F. I recommend taking the temperature of the mixture the first time you make it so you know when it is done. A Thermapen thermometer is perfect for this! Once you know how it will look and feel, you do not need to be so precise in the future. The tangzhong mixture is at its best when cooked to 149° F  or so. It is fine it if gets hotter than that, but try to keep it less than 175° F. Apart from temperature, you will know it is done once it thickens up. Avoid cooking it further after it has thickened.

How to Make Tangzhong Challah

Making Tangzhong Challah is really no different than making traditional challah. The only change is that we are allowing the tangzhong, the rest of the flour, and the rest of the liquids to rest for 20 minutes before adding the sugar, honey, and salt and fully kneading the dough.

Although I provide cup measurements for this recipe, I very strongly urge you to weigh the ingredients. There is too much fluctuation when measuring cups of flour and liquids, so you may not end up with the desired result unless you weigh the ingredients.

tangzhong in mixing bowl together with cups and bowls holding the rest of the challah ingredients, with each labeled as oil, water, sugar, honey, yolks, bread flour, salt and yeast
As the tangzhong cools, weigh out the rest of the ingredients.

1. Prepare the Tangzhong

Once you cook the tangzhong, spread it thinly on the bottom of your mixing bowl. Spreading it out will help it cool a little faster. You do not want it too hot because you want to avoid scrambled yolks and killing the yeast when you add them in the next step.

2. Autolyse

Once the tangzhong has cooled a bit (lukewarm is fine), add the water (which should be room temperature or lukewarm), yolks, oil, bread flour and yeast. Mix it all together so that the flour is fully hydrated. You can do this by hand or use the paddle attachment to your mixer. Cover the bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

3. Knead the Tangzhong Challah

After the 20 minute rest, add the sugar and honey. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough, You may need to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. These are my go-to bowl scrapers. Do not panic if the dough seems very wet. It will all come together. Allow the dough to knead at medium-high until it is cleaning the sides of the bowl. Then, lower the mixer speed and slowly add the salt as the dough continues to knead. Knead for several more minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test. That means that, if you take a small piece of dough and stretch it with both your hands, it should become very thin and translucent without ripping.

4. Bulk Rise the Tangzhong Challah

Cover the dough and allow it to bulk rise until it has doubled in size. This generally takes approximately three hours. This may seem long, but this dough is rich in egg yolks and honey, both of which contribute to slowing down fermentation.

5. Shape the Tangzhong Challahs

Divide the dough in half, preferably by weight. Make as many ropes for braiding as you desire. If the dough is slightly sticky or tacky, lightly flour the countertop and the pieces of dough.

The video included with this post demonstrates how to make a 4-strand challah braid. Cover the challahs and allow them to rise for 1½ hours.

For other braiding methods, check out my Festive Challah and 4-Strand Round Challah posts.

6. Egg Wash the Tangzhong Challahs

For a lighter egg wash, mix 1 egg together with 1 teaspoon of water. If you prefer a slightly darker challah, use just 1 egg and no water. For a deeper, darker hue, use just the yolk for your egg wash. Be sure to spread the egg wash all the way to the bottom of the loafs.

7. Bake the Tangzhong Challahs 

Bake the challahs for 30-35 minutes. For a darker crust, lean toward the 35 minute mark. The internal temperature of the challah should be 200° F. Again, Thermapen thermometer is also perfect for this!

straight on shot of slices of challah with a small bowl of salt and a bowl of honey and a bread knife in forefront.
Tangzhong Challah stays fresh for days!

Looking for other challah recipes? Check out:

Looking to use up the leftover egg whites? Check out my Chocolate Egg White Cake, which is an easy and wonderful parve (dairy free) dessert ideal for any Shabbat or Yom Tov.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Tangzhong Challah

Do I have to weigh the ingredients to make Tangzhong Challah?

I highly recommend weighing the ingredients. Everyone measures cups of flour differently, so you may not end up with the desired dough texture.

How should I store Tangzhong Challah?

One of the benefits of tangzhong is that it extends  the shelf life of bread. Tangzhong Challah will stay fresh, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature, for at least 5 days.

Can I freeze Tangzhong Challah?

Absolutely. Wrap the challah in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost it at room temperature. If you like to serve it warm, wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a 350° F oven for 10-15 minutes.

Tangzhong Challah

4.80 from 69 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
resting time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 24 slices
Calories 157
Tangzhong Challah is soft, fluffy and doughy and stays fresh much longer than traditional challah.



  • 40 grams bread flour (⅓ cup)
  • 200 grams warm water (¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons)


  • All the tangzhong (90°F-110°F)
  • 113 grams water (½ cup)
  • 72 grams neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, sunflower, safflower, or grapeseed (⅓ cup)
  • 5 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 590 grams bread flour (4¾ cups plus 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 7 grams instant yeast* (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 50 grams sugar (¼ cup)
  • 113 grams honey (⅓ cup)
  • 12 grams salt (2 teaspoons)


  • Tangzhong. In a small to medium saucepan, whisk together the bread flour and the water until fully combined. Place pan on a medium-low heat, whisking occasionally. Once the mixture starts to simmer, whisk constantly until it is thickened to a paste consistency. The temperature should be 149° F. Remove from heat and pour tangzhong into bowl of an electric mixer. Spread the tangzhong thinly on the bottom of the bowl to allow it to cool quicker. Set aside while gathering the rest of the ingredients.
  • Dough. Add the water, oil, egg yolks, bread flour and yeast to the tangzhong. Use a wood spoon or the paddle attachment of an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients just until the flour is fully absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and honey. Using a dough hook attachment to the electric mixer, knead the dough for approximately 4-5 minutes. You may need to stop the mixer several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Knead until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the salt. Knead for 2-3 additional minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test. (That means that, if you take a small piece of dough and stretch it with both your hands, it should become very thin and translucent without ripping.)
  • Shape dough into a ball and place back in mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm area on the counter for approximately 3 hours. The dough should double in size.
  • Deflate the dough by pulling a piece from the bottom and folding it over itself, turning the bowl so you can do four similar folds. Remove the dough from the bowl and give it several kneads on the counter.
  • Weigh the dough and divide into two or three equal portions, depending on how many challahs you are making.
  • Further divide each portion into the number of strands you will be making for each braid.
  • Shape each portion into a ball. If the dough is slightly sticky, lightly flour your countertop and the balls of dough.
  • Press down each ball into an oval. Fold the top third of the oval over itself towards you. Fold the top part again over the rest of the dough. Using the palms of both hands, roll the dough against the countertop to create your strands. If the dough starts pulling back, place it aside and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Braid and shape as desired.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 1½ hours.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Apply egg wash. Sprinkle challah with any toppings, if using. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and sides.


*If you have active dry yeast, use the same amount, 7 grams or 2¼ teaspoons. Dissolve it in the 113 g. (½ cup) warm water with a pinch of the sugar for about 5 minutes until it gets foamy. Add the rest of the ingredients as set forth in Step 2 and continue. 
  • You can also make tangzhong in the microwave. In a microwave safe bowl, whisk the flour with the water to hydrate the flour. Microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk the flour mixture. Microwave for 15 seconds. Whisk again and keep repeating until the paste is formed.
  • For the egg wash, beat 1 large egg. For a darker crust, beat just the egg yolk.
  • Add any desired seeds (poppyseeds, sesame seeds, Everything Seasoning, etc.) after applying the egg wash.
  • If making an entire batch with raisins, once the dough passes the windowpane test, add 219 g. (1½ cups) raisins and knead until fully incorporated. If dividing into two loaves and you want to make one of them with raisins, knead in 110 grams or ¾ cup of raisins at Step 6.
Calories: 157kcal
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: challah, challah braiding, rosh hashanah, shabbat, tangzhong


Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. Wow! I can’t wait to try this Tangzhong Challah! Looks so delicious. It would be perfect for my green tea. Thanks!:)

    • Suzi Sholin Reply

      I really want to try this and wonder if I need to use as many eggs as you do? Likely that’s part of the hydration but I prefer a less egg-y challah.

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        I have not tried this, but using 2 whole large eggs instead of the 5 yolks will be approximately the same hydration.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so interesting to make! I love milk bread and this fusion with challah was so fun! Your instructions were clear and it turned out great!

    • I am in the middle of trying your tango zhong Challah recipe. I don’t have a standing mixer, so I’m using my bread machine as the mixer, trying to follow your original plan, which requires a little creativity on my part. I noticed that you save putting in the sugar and honey as a separate step. And then as a separate step, you slowly add the salt. I think I read somewhere that salt can inhibit the growth of the yeast? Am I remembering that correctly? I did that, but I’d forgotten to add the sweeteners as a separate step, and they were added into the liquid portion of the mixing. What is the reason to mix the ingredients before adding the sweeteners? And – did I screw things up? I’m in the 3 hour resting period. The dough acts sticky but looks good. I’m just wondering if I’ve changed the final quality by combining incorrectly. (Btw, I loved your kichel recipe, for which I also used my bread machine instead of a standing mixer, and they came out pretty good, all in all- because somehow I made them all disappear!😊)

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        Hi Sharon. Yes, salt can kill or slow yeast upon initial contact, which is why we add the salt after the yeast is incorporated into the rest of the dough. I keep the sugar/honey out of the initial mix so the flour can better absorb the water. That might explain why your dough is a little sticky. When you go to shape, I suggest you be more liberal with flouring your work surface and hands so you add a little more flour as you shape. I hope it works out!

  3. 5 stars
    I’d heard of this method before but only in passing. So, many thanks for the step-by-step instructions and tips! I’m really looking forward to trying this. It’ll be amazing with all those fall and winter brunch dishes!

  4. Amanda+Dixon Reply

    5 stars
    This challah is perfect! It came out so soft and pillowy — delicious. I’ll definitely make it again.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this today for the first time its absolutely delicious so soft and slightly sweet will be making this again for sure. Great recipe.

  6. Let me start by saying that I am a regular challah baker and almost never find a challah I like better than mine. But after one bite we were swayed. This is a great challah. I made it Sunday for Sukkot and it’s still soft and delicious 3 days later. Thanks Rob!

        • Rob Finkelstein Reply

          While I have no doubt that it can be done in a bread maker, I do not own one and am therefore not familiar with kneading bread in one. I suspect that you can mix the dough as instructed and then put it in the bread maker for kneading and the first rise. You will have to play around with it though. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  7. Elizabeth Flight Reply

    5 stars
    This bread is absolutely delicious! The whole family loved it!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I do not believe so. The water to flour ratio is what makes this recipe and the Tangzhong method what they are. I suggest you Google how to covert a recipe to Tangzhong and try following those instructions.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      No. This recipe is dependent on gluten. I do not have experience making gluten free breads, but there are many recipes online if you Google it.

  8. Phillip Hain Reply

    Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks? If so, how many would you recommend? Thank you.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      You can try using 2 whole large eggs. It should work, but the challah will not be quite as “eggy”. (Large eggs weigh approximately 50 grams each. The yolks weigh approximately 20 grams each. Since there are 5 yolks, or 100 grams of them, 2 large eggs will give you the same amount of egg in the recipe.)

  9. Wilma Poyser Reply

    I made them. The dough is so soft. They smell so delicious. I would give the dough ample rising time so plan on this taking some time.
    I have students in my class we share a love of baking and we were talking about this so I will bring pictures and my family reviews in next week. Wish I could upload a picture they came out beautiful. Thank you!!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I am so thrilled you enjoyed this challah!

  10. Okay 2 questions – 1) could I substitute the water for milk? 2) could I sub in cone sourdough starter?

    This recipe found amazing. Thank you!!

    • *some. Not come :). Sorry for the typo!!

      And could I leave it in the fridge overnight before baking? (Last question 🙂 )

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        It is difficult for me to answer your questions because I have never tried any of them. That said, I will give you my best guesses for answers.
        1. I have only made challah with water because my family traditionally eats challah with a meat meal, so I never use dairy in challah (for kosher purposes). I am very confident that you could use milk instead of the water, although I suspect it would not make a material difference since this dough is already so soft.
        2. As for subbing in sourdough starter, I don’t see why not. I would try subbing in 226 g. of discard. To do that, you should decrease the flour by 113 g. and omit the 113 g. water/milk in the dough recipe. I would not tinker with the flour or water/milk quantities in the tangzhong.
        3. For refrigeration, I would allow the dough to rise for about a half hour and then place it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, shape the dough and allow it to rise, probably about 2 hours, before baking. Alternatively, you could try going all the way to the point of shaping the dough, then refrigerating it. In the morning I would let it come to room temperature at least one hour before baking.
        Please let me know if you try any of these and how it works out!

        • 5 stars
          Oh my gosh. Of course!!!! I grew up kosher so I should have totally known that (duh). Thank you for helping me have that lightbulb, I feel so silly.

          Okay so I’m skipping the milk.

          I made the recipe your written way (yay!) but did try over night. I was late to the party on your reply so I left it to rise for the originally prescribed 3 hours, punched it down, and set it in the fridge over night. Next morning I shaped my 6-braids, let them rest for 1hr and baked. They came out LOVELY. Thank you so much for this recipe. For fun, I am going to try adding discard tomorrow or later this evening and do a half recipe – I will absolutely report back!! Thank you so much for all your guidance!!!

          • 5 stars
            Okay okay. It’s been done!! I added discard. And I would say I HIGHLY recommend if you’re ever interested in giving it a shot. Adds to the “rippable” texture and a bit more body to the flavor as well. Your original recipe is fantastic as is, though!!! And I mean that. I wouldn’t change a thing. Just sharing my experience here in case it was something you ever wanted to experiment with. Thank you so much, Rob!!!

          • Rob Finkelstein

            Thanks so much for letting me know! I will definitely add some discard next time I make it.

  11. Two questions….
    Can this recipe be doubled and come out well?
    If I only have instant yeast, is it interchangeable with the active?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Generally, you can double, halve, triple, etc. any bread recipe and it should come out just the same. As for the yeast, I meant for the recipe to say instant yeast. It is all I use these days, actually. Thanks for pointing that out — just changed it in the recipe.

      To answer your question, in a small bread batch like this, you can generally use the same amount whether active dry or instant. However, approximately 25% of active dry granules are dead and won’t work in dough. With instant, 100% of the granules are alive. Therefore, if a recipe calls for active dry, I usually decrease the amount by 25% when using instant. And if a recipe calls for instant, I increase it by 25% if using active dry.

  12. Aviv Weinstein Reply

    5 stars
    I tried putting this dough together! Currently waiting for my braided loaves to finish their final rise before baking.

    Quick question for you though, I made this dough w/o a stand mixer and had significant trouble kneading the dough, as it was quite sticky. I let my dough bulk ferment/proof overnight in my fridge, but even after that, my dough was VERY sticky and I had to add a good bit of flour throughout the entire process.

    You dont seem to mention your dough being sticky VERY sticky, you just mentioned “slightly sticky”. So either I did something wrong w/measuring ingredients or my idea of VERY sticky is off :). Do you have any ideas of what could have gone wrong?

    Ill comment back once I am done baking, resting/cooling, and tasting my challah loaves!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I only knead this dough with a mixer because it is a wetter, stickier dough. While it can conceivably be done by hand, I would imagine that it would be very messy to work with. For the tangzhong to be most effective, the dough needs to have a certain amount of hydration. Hopefully the addition of the flour did not have too much of an impact on your dough. I only include instructions for kneading with a mixer for this reason.

      • Aviv Weinstein Reply

        5 stars
        Thanks for the response Rob! I don’t have a stand mixer and always assume that a challah recipe made in a stand mixer can just as easily be made through hand kneading!

        The challah came out amazingly good though! I think that I was able to get away with not kneading my dough as much because I let my dough cold ferment for 24 hours prior to baking it. I know that high hydration doughs, when left alone, develop gluten on their own thanks to the effects of the yeast stretching/forming the gluten over a long period of time.

        Greta recipe. Thanks Rob!

  13. Aliza Ganz Reply

    Can I put the braided challah to rise in the fridge if I need to step away for longer than the 1 1/2 hour second rising?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I haven’t done it, but, just as with any yeasted bread, it should not be a problem. I would maybe put it in the fridge after about 30 minutes. That way it starts rising, and if you’re just a few hours, it should basically finish in the fridge. I would let it get to room temperature for at least 45 minutes before baking.

      • 5 stars
        You’re the best. Thank you. This challah is perfection. If I wanted to make it even sweeter 🙈do I need to adjust anything?

        • Rob Finkelstein Reply

          It’s already on the very sweet side, when compared to other challah recipes, but I don’t judge! Especially because I love, love, love a sweet challah! If you’re going to make it sweeter, I would add sugar rather than honey honey because honey is partially water, which will make the dough even wetter and more difficult to work with.

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        Sure. I would shape it and cover it with plastic wrap (but not too tight in case the loaf rises a little) before putting in the fridge. The next day, I would take it out, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it rise as usual. It could take an additional 30-60 minutes to rise, since it will take some time for it to get to room temperature once you take it out of the fridge.

  14. Hi again! Another question about this fantastic recipe. If I want to make it sweeter (🙈) does anything need to be adjusted?

    • Hi. I don’t have a stand mixer. Can this be done in a bread maker? There is a 15 minute knead program (I usually use a 1.5 hr program for my regular challah, that includes rise time but not baking) and I can always just unplug it to stop it earlier.

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        While I have no doubt that it can be done in a bread maker, I do not own one and am therefore not familiar with kneading bread in one. I suspect that you can mix the dough as instructed and then put it in the bread maker for kneading and the first rise. You will have to play around with it though. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  15. Hi there
    I’m making this challah for the first time and as I’m making the mixture at the beginning with a flour and water, I get it to the temperature but it’s not as thick as yours is. Does it matter if the temperature gets higher? Not sure if it’s right to proceed! Look forward to hearing back,

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      It should be thick once it hits the correct temperature. I’ve inadvertently reached higher temperatures, and it worked out great. As the tangzhong cools to room temperature, it should also thicken more.

  16. Aliza Ganz Reply

    I wind up having to add a lot of flour to this to make it a workable dough. Should I decrease the water?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      If you’re in a more humid climate, you may need to decrease the water. The dough is generally a bit stickier than traditional challah. You can also lightly sprinkle the strands with some flour, just enough to remove the stickiness as you shape.

    • 5 stars
      I tried this recipe today. It is a warm day in CA. The consistency of the dough was very wet and sticky and not firm and dry as you indicated. I weighed every ingredient carefully. What could be the reason this happened.
      I managed to use the dough and baked the challah. Will try it later today…..

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        It sounds like the dough may have been a drop too wet. If you weighed everything exactly, it is very likely due to the weather. When that happens, try adding a little more flour. I would add 1 Tablespoon and see if that does the trick. The dough should be slightly tacky, and you can lightly flour the ropes before you braid. I hope it otherwise came out great and that you enjoyed it!

  17. 5 stars
    This was far and away the most delicious challah I have made out of four or five recipes! I don’t have a stand mixer, so I had to hand knead. It was work, especially with the honey and sugar, and then with the salt. The dough was very sticky and it took a while to incorporate, but eventually it all came together and smoothed out. I had to cold rise it in the fridge overnight, but then let it come to room temp and then rise for a couple of hours before braiding and the next rise. I also found that they had to bake about 5-10 mins longer than the recipe states. I added raisins to one loaf and did a 4-strand braided round; the second loaf was playin in a spiral. 😋

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      You are a much braver soul than I am! I haven’t even considered trying to knead this challah by hand because it is slightly sticky, even once the dough comes together. I am thrilled that it worked out well for you and that you enjoyed it!

  18. 4 stars
    Everyone absolutely loved, raved and devoured the 2 loaves of challah made from this recipe. It tasted great, was soft and had a very nice chew. I, however, struggled with making this recipe written as directed. I weighed everything precisely. First problem was my yeast at 7 grams was only 1 tsp. Do I stick at 7g or go to 2.25 tsp? I compromised and did 2 tsp or 14g. Second problem was after the first two kneading, 5 mins then 3 mins, my dough did not pass the “windowpane” test. What to do? I determined it was under-kneaded. I kneaded it for 8 min more, checking its stretchability several times throughout.. It was better, maybe 75% kneaded but still did not pass the windowpane test. My KA was very hot so I proceeded on with the recipe. After the initial rise, I weighed it all out precisely for 2 loaves with 4 strands each. Shaping the drought into logs was not easy. I was able to get some length but it took several rest periods between rolling it out to get them as long as I wanted. The bread baked beautifully and presented so lovely. I personally liked the sweetness of it as did others. I did need to cover it with foil to prevent too much browning. Your blog is very fun to read as well as your recipes. Thank you for sharing and all your hard work!! Thank you, too, for adapting this to the Tangzhong method. I will use that again.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I’m glad everyone enjoyed the challah.
      As for the yeast, it sounds like your scale was off. 7 grams of active dry or instant yeast equals 2 1/4 teaspoons. That has nothing to do with my recipe — it is simply the conversion. (You can Google it.)
      With respect to kneading, the times in my recipe (or, really, any recipe) are not written in stone. The time it takes to knead any bread can vary based on a number of factors, such as which mixer you use, the speed of the mixer, humidity, and kitchen temperature. Good that you kept kneading to achieve the windowpane test. That is why we use the windowpane test — because we cannot rely on definitive times.
      Finally, shaping any dough made with bread flour usually requires short rests to allow the gluten to relax. When we keep rolling the dough into strands, we are working the gluten, so the dough has a tendency pull back. Rolling into strands, covering for 5 minutes to rest, and rolling more is the way to go.

  19. I would love to try your recipe, but don’t need so much challah. I don’t trust myself to halve the recipe. Would you ever print one with the ingredients for half this recipe?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      My best advice is to make the recipe as is for two challot. Enjoy one challah and freeze the other. If you really want to half the recipe, weigh the ingredients instead of measuring them, and you will need 50 grams of the egg yolks, which is 2 and 1/2 yolks.

  20. Any possibility of getting the conversion for someone temporarily without a scale?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Weight measurements are to the right of each ingredient.

  21. 5 stars
    Is it possible to make one, big challah or does it have to be two? If I make it one, how would that change the cooking time?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Absolutely. Increase bake time by 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it after that, as it may need a few more minutes.

  22. 5 stars
    Perfect challah! I have tried dozens of challah recipes. I thought I found my perfect one. Until last Friday, when I made this. My search for challah perfection is over. It took a bit longer than my other recipes but the dough handles like a dream and the recipe itself is easy. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  23. Seth Meisel Reply

    4 stars

    I have used your recipe many times and it is soft and delicious. But, upon baking, the strands meld and my beautiful braids disappear. I have tried sifting extra flour over the strands but to no avail. I do not have this problem with other non tangzhong recipes. Any suggestions?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      It sounds like you should let the challah rise a bit longer before baking. If your kitchen is a little cooler, the rise times will be longer than as written in the recipe. In addition, the calculations for the tangzhong inclusion are very precise and, therefore, do not factor in other potential sources of moisture, such as humidity. To balance that, you can try adding 1-2 Tablespoons of bread flour into the dough when you are kneading it.

  24. Marc Lieber Reply

    This is my second time making this recipe. I mistakenly combined all ingredients, rather than a separate honey/sugar step and a salt step. So I may have a sticky; I’ll deal.
    My question: your opinion on adding vital wheat gluten even when using bread flour?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I have never added vital wheat gluten to this recipe. I don’t think there’s a need to add more gluten when using bread flour, but I’m curious now how it would come out. Please let me know if you do and the results.

      • Marc Lieber Reply

        It came out great. Making the braids was a bit sticky, so I just used some flour (thankfully not too much!) and it turned out delicious.
        If I do try it again adding gluten, I’ll update you.

  25. Hello, I really appreciate all your science-y recipes. I’m wondering if I can do the Tangzhong method with your whole wheat challah recipe?

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