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Ultimate Honey Whole Wheat Challah

Slightly-heavy, almost-cakey, perfectly crusty and totally delicious challah – all with 100% whole wheat flour!
Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah
Yield 3 to 5 loaves


  • 2 tablespoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115°F)
  • 4 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups honey (See note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 9 cups whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • Sesame seeds (for topping)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix lightly to incorporate ingredients, then allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until it starts bubbling.
  • Add remaining water, salt, honey, eggs and oil. Turn mixer to low and add the flour, about two cups at a time, until all flour has been added and a dough is formed.
  • Knead dough on medium-low for about ten minutes, then cover the dough and allow it to rise for about an hour and a half.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Grease oval shaped "challah" pans OR a baking sheets and set aside.
  • Divide dough into 5 equal portions for small challah loaves, or 3 equal portions for large challah loaves. Divide each portion into 3 or 4 strands and braid into a loaf. Place each loaf into a "challah" pan or on a baking sheet.
  • Brush the top of each challah with beaten egg, then sprinkle sesame seeds over it.
  • Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the challah, until golden brown.
  • Cool breads on a wire rack.


If you like a sweeter challah, add 1 1/3 cups honey. If you prefer yours less sweet, add just a cup of honey.
Plan Ahead: This challah freezes nicely. Cool completely then store in an airtight bag. Reheat straight from freezer until warmed through.
Recipe by Overtime Cook.