Two gorgeous loaves of challah bread that you can easily make at home! This bread uses up 8 egg yolks and makes a fabulous French toast!
Baking a non-quick bread has been on my baking bucket list for a while. I’m slowly getting more comfortable working with yeast, but baking bread is just so time-consuming. It’s hard to carve out time to do anything these days, much less bake bread.
Surprisingly, I actually had egg yolks leftover in my refrigerator one day rather than egg whites. Ladies and gentlemen, this is definitely a first. My first thought to use up the egg yolks was to make ice cream, but we didn’t have room in the freezer (note to self: make room for more ice cream in the freezer). Then I thought about making something with custard but the portions would have been too big for our little family of three.
Finally, I thought about tackling bread. I could keep a loaf and give away the other. Perfect. Little did I know that this challah recipe made two GINORMOUS loaves. Each one was probably two feet in length. If you look at my photo, you’ll see that the one loaf is as wide as my half sheet pan.
I really am proud of myself for finally baking this bread. It was what I imagined a homemade challah would taste like – eggy and chewy with a golden and crisp exterior. I toasted a few slices and added Nutella to them and Addie ate them like candy. Then I made a Nutella-stuffed challah French toast, and again Addie ate hers up very quickly. Although my challah braiding skills could definitely use some work, the bread itself was really delicious and is something I’d definitely make again. Holla! (sorry, couldn’t resist myself there)
8 egg yolk challah bread
- 2½ cups (510 grams) lukewarm water about 95 degrees F/35 degrees C)
- 1½ tablespoons (14 grams) instant yeast
- 8-10 (170 grams) egg yolks
- 5 Tablespoon (71 grams) vegetable oil
- 6 Tablespoon (85 grams) granulated sugar or 4½ Tablespoons (96 grams) honey or agave nectar
- 1 Tablespoon (21 grams) vanilla extract optional
- 7½ cups (964 grams) unbleached bread flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons (19 grams) salt or 4 teaspoons (20 grams) coarse kosher salt
- 1 egg white for egg wash
- 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) water for egg wash
- 2 Tablespoons (20 grams) sesame or poppyseeds for garnish optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the water and the yeast until the yeast has dissolved (I used a hand whisk). Add in the egg yolks, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk. Then add the flour and salt and whisk until mixture is lumpy.
- Using the dough hook attachment, whisk the mixture for about 4 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead by hand for a few minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable but not sticky (if it is, add a little bit of flour). Cut the dough in half and place each half in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight.
- Two hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Transfer one dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into the number of braids you want to use for your bread (I used 6). Alternatively, you can shape into dinner rolls or small loaves and place on your baking sheet.
- For braiding technique, I used this video. Repeat with the other dough ball.
- Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg white and water. Brush generously onto each loaf and put the remaining egg wash back in the refrigerator. Allow the bread to rise again, uncovered, for 1 hour. Brush each loaf with egg wash again.
- Let the bread rise again for another hour or until it is 1.5 times its size.
- Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 15-30 minutes or until you hear a hollow sound when you rap the baking sheet on your kitchen counter. If you don't hear the sound, bake for additional time.
- Allow the bread to cool for at least 45 minutes before enjoying.
This was a fantastic way to use up my egg-stra egg yolks after making a bunch of Angel Cakes! What a hit! These loaves are HUGE!
I’m going to try using the paddle attachment instead of continuing to mix w/the whisk or w/the hook. It was an incredibly sticky dough but so so delicious!
You’re welcome, Madelaine! I’m so glad the bread turned out well!
First attempt making challah bread! I’m glad this recipe popped up when I googled “8 yolk recipe” LOL
It came out SO GOOD… I can’t believe I actually baked this! It was so much fun braiding, too. Thank you!
Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed this, Camille!
may I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast? never made challah before ! so excited!
I would think so, but you may need to give it more time to rise. I haven’t tried it myself, so let me know how it went!
hey eva! first I want to thank you for this amazing recipe! i used active dry yeast and it worked beautifully! the first dough did a 12hr slow rise and the second loaf did a 15 hour slow rise. Both were soooooo delicious, such a fluffy soft interior with nice firm darker golden crust and it bakes so well!
That’s fantastic, Nida! Glad everything worked out and tasted delicious! ❤️
I have made challahs six times. The first four were another recipe that was ok and since I made it I thought it was better than it was. Next one was out of Beard on Bread cook book, it was also ok! This recipe was nothing short of world class perfection! Easy to knead and easy to shape and soft and fluffy! It will be the only challah recipe I will use from now on. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!
Scott – you totally made my day! I’m so glad this recipe was a success!
Is it possible to make this recipe without the dough resting for 10hours?
Yes – I would think so. I haven’t tried it myself but don’t think it would need a full 10 hours.
Had 10 leftover yolks from a meringue buttercream recipe. When I was looking for an egg-rich challah recipe I luckily found yours.
It was delicious and your directions were easy to follow and spot on. I did add poppy seeds to one after the second egg wash. Thanks Eva. This is a keeper.
Oooh, I like the addition of poppy seeds, Gina. I’m so happy the recipe worked for you!
Next time I’m going to use Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (garlic, onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sea salt.) I’ll let you know how it comes out.
Ooh – great idea, Gina!
What happened to the braiding video?
I want to try this.
Oh gosh – I didn’t realize the link didn’t work. Try this one: https://youtu.be/GeaYznp2zdk
Thank you very much for the link. This is my weekend project
I hope you enjoy it, Richard!
I got to thinking. Your recipe is for 2 loaves.
Inasmuch as this is a virgin effort is it possible to halve the ingredients and make only one loaf? While I don’t expect failure if there is I would rather it be one not two.
Absolutely. If you do, I recommend using the weight measurements (if you have a good scale) to be more accurate.
Such a great recipe. Only question that occurred to me was when you stated on day 2 when the challah is cooking at 350 how you know it will be ready is when you hear a hallow sound in the baking paper. Could you please explain this further?
Thank you again for such a great recipe
Hi Jake – if you tap on the bottom of bread after it’s done baking, the sound you get should be similar to a ripe watermelon. This means that the moisture has mostly been baked off so your bread isn’t too soggy. Otherwise, if you tap on the bread and get “thud” sounds (like a filled drum) it means it is under baked and needs more time in the oven. There are some YouTube videos that explain this concept further. Hope this helps!
I know that the braid is the traditional design but I have an egg white allergy and was looking for a bread recipe. Does this dough require the braiding? I was actually thinking of dividing it further and making more like buns. Would this be possible?
Hi Katherine – no, the bread doesn’t require braiding. You can and should experiment and make buns instead. You’ll need to decrease the bake time though! I haven’t done this before, so start checking after 20-30 minutes to see if the buns are fully baked yet. Let me know how they turn out if you try it!
Great recipe! I baked pavlova for NY and was left with a bunch if egg yolks to use up and chose this recipe on google. Made two delicious, fluffy challahs. I have Ankarsrum mixer so skipped the hand kneading step and did everything in the machine. Highly recommend to try it out!
Yay – so glad you enjoyed it, AK!