Orange Blossom Honey Challah


  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 for egg wash
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Florida Orange Blossom Honey


  1. Make a yeast slurry by whisking together the yeast and 1/4 cup of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until it becomes smooth.
  2. Let the slurry stand uncovered for 10 – 20 minutes or until it begins to puff up slightly.
  3. Whisk 3 eggs, salt, oil and honey into the puffed yeast slurry until the eggs are well incorporated and the salt has dissolved.
  4. With your hands or a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining 3 1/4 cups of flour.
  5. When the mixture forms a ball take it out onto your work surface and knead it until smooth, no more than 5 minutes.
  6. Soak your mixing bowl in hot water to clean and warm it for fermenting the dough in the next step. The dough should feel very firm. If the dough is too firm to knead easily add a tablespoon or two of water to it. If it is too wet add a few tablespoons of flour.
  7. Place the dough in the warm cleaned bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  8. Let the dough ferment until it has at least doubled in bulk (about 2 hours) depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
  9. Divide the dough into three equal portions and roll them into logs, then braid. Position on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Cover the dough well with plastic wrap and proof until tripled in size, about 2 hours.
  11. 30 minutes prior to baking arrange an oven rack in the upper third position and remove any racks above.
  12. Preheat the oven to 325°F .
  13. Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for the egg wash.
  14. When the dough has tripled and doesn’t push back when gently pressed with your finger but remains indented, brush with the egg wash.
  15. Bake the loaf for 35 to 45 minutes, until very well browned. Remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.