Sephardic Challah

This recipe for Sephardic Challah comes from The New York Times. It is important to remember when making a coil using bread dough that you tuck the end in properly. The seeds are a lovely addition to this kitke.

Sephardic Challah
Sephardic Challah
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After enjoying New Year’s day, Dave and I both started work on the 2nd of January. I eased myself into it with a visit to a customer in Hermanus. I also decided to get straight back into my gym routine. On the 3rd I started working on some sweet recipes. Even though Dave and I are watching what we are eating, I still feel the need for a sweet treat. My recipe testing was not a success but, we ate the results regardless. On the 4th is was sort of back to normal. I slept in an hour later than I would usually do and got to work just before 8am. The first order of business was stock take. This also includes an annual clean up of the shelves. Due to the fires there is a lot of soot in the air and our office is never quite clean.

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We pressed on till 5pm with stock take and had only the last gasp effort left to do on Friday morning. I must say I was most relieved to get it done and dusted. And starting the working year off so smoothly, and gently was good for me. Over the weekend I attempted to make a fruit cheese. I left it on the heat one minute too long, and another failure hit the kitchen. I really hope that this is not going to continue for much longer. My plan was not to inundate you with bread recipes but the next one on my list to try was this Sephardic challah. I love the addition of the seeds, which is so unusual for me in a challah. I will make this round kitke again for the Jewish New Year with more honey so that it is sweeter.

Sephardic Challah

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5 from 2 votes

Sephardic Challah

This challah recipe includes plenty of seeds for extra texture
Recipe Category: Bread
Makes enough for: 1 challah
All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Julia Moskin


  • 38 g raisins
  • 250 mls warm water
  • 20 g sesame seeds, divided
  • 5 g caraway seeds
  • 5 g poppy seeds
  • 4 g instant dry yeast
  • 300 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 15 g olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 15 g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 8 g salt
  • Semolina for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Place the raisins into a bowl and pour in the water
  • Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain, reserving the water
  • Place 7.5mls of the sesame seeds into a dry frying pan together with the caraway seeds and poppy seeds
  • Lightly toast and then remove from the heat
  • Place the yeast, flour, oil, honey, and egg into the bowl of a stand mixer
  • Add 155mls of the reserved raisin water
  • Knead using a dough hook at a low speed until a dough forms
  • Add the salt and toasted seeds and knead for 10 minutes
  • Place the raisins into a mixing bowl and add the dough
  • Knead until all the raisins have been combined
  • Lightly oil the mixing bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl
  • Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet and dust with the semolina
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knock back
  • Leave to rest for 5 minutes
  • Dust your hands with flour and roll the dough into a 45cm long sausage shape
  • Leave to rest for 5 minutes then roll the dough until it is 81cm long
  • Coil the dough fairly tightly and tuck the end in under the coil
  • Place on your baking sheet, cover with the stand mixer bowl and leave to prove for 1 hour
  • Place the egg yolk into a small bowl and add 7.5mls of the reserved raisin water
  • Brush the egg wash over the top of the bread and leave uncovered to carry on proving for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  • Brush the top of the bread with the egg wash and sprinkle over the left over sesame seeds
  • Bake for 30 minutes and remove from the oven
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime January 12:

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14 thoughts on “Sephardic Challah

  1. What a beautiful challah! My daughters bought me some of that Everything Bagel mixture – that would be fun to use on this bread!

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