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Beautiful Whole Wheat Challah

5 from 1 vote
Oshrit Abergil – @oshritabergil
The best whole wheat challah recipe you will ever need!
Prep Time :3 hours
Cook Time :35 minutes
Total Time :3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 2.2 pound/1 kilogram whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar/honey
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • ¾ cup oil + 1 tablespoon 
  • 1 eggs
  • cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon date syrup for drizzling, optional
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, optional


  • In a mixer bowl, add the dry ingredients in this order: flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add 1 egg, oil and water and knead at a low speed for 10 minutes (until you get a soft and flexible dough). Oil the dough, cover and let it rise until doubled in size (about 90 minutes).
  • Divide the dough and shape into challah rolls as shown in the video. Place on a sheet pan and let rise again for 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 390 ℉. (200 ℃).
  • Mix the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of oil, brush the dough, then drizzle date syrup and brush again, gently. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.


Whole Wheat Challah recipe
Whole Wheat Challah recipe

Can I freeze whole wheat challah?

You can freeze the baked challah. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw it at room temperature when ready to consume.

What makes whole wheat challah too dense?

Insufficient proofing: Proofing is the process of allowing the dough to rise before baking. If the dough is not given enough time to rise adequately, it may result in a dense texture.

Inadequate kneading: Make sure to knead the dough sufficiently until it becomes smooth and elastic, which usually takes around 8-10 minutes.

Incorrect yeast usage: If too little yeast is used or if the yeast is not activated properly, the dough may not rise properly, resulting in a denser challah.

Whole Wheat Challah recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

Heavy ingredients or additions: Adding too much fat (such as butter or oil) can weigh down the dough and make the final bread denser. It’s important to follow the recipe and measurements accurately to maintain the desired texture.

Overmixing or overhandling the dough: While kneading is essential, overmixing or excessively handling the dough can lead to a dense whole wheat challah. Overworking the dough can cause the gluten to become too tight, resulting in a heavier texture.

Whole Wheat Challah recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

Is it necessary to use eggs in a whole wheat challah?

Eggs contribute to the richness and texture of challah. However, you can explore vegan alternatives like flax eggs or aquafaba for an eggless version.

Can you make whole wheat challah dough the night before?

Yes, you can make challah dough the night before by following your chosen recipe until the first rise. After kneading the dough, shape it into a smooth ball and place it in a greased bowl, covering it tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Refrigerate the dough overnight to allow for a slow rise and flavor development. The next day, let the dough sit at room temperature for a short time before shaping it and allowing it to rise again.

Whole Wheat Challah recipe
Whole Wheat Challah recipe

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