Recipe by Paula Shoyer

Flavored Challah Rolls: Rosemary and Shallot, Olive and Za’atar, or Walnut and Honey

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Parve Parve
Medium Medium
12 Servings
2 Hours, 15 Minutes

Each amount of filling is enough for eight rolls. To make all the rolls the same flavor, simply triple the filling ingredients.



  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 ounce) Gefen Dry Yeast

  • 1/3 cup warm water

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon Gefen Canola Oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

  • 3 large eggs, beaten in a small bowl

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 cup Shibolim White Whole Wheat Flour

  • 5 and 1/2 cups bread flour, or more as needed

Rosemary and Shallot Filling

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

  • salt

  • pepper

Olive and Za'atar Filling

  • pepper

Honey and Walnut Filling

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 1 tablespoon Gefen Honey plus 1 teaspoon for glaze

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnut halves

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar


Prepare the Dough


Place one third cup warm water into a liquid measuring cup. Add the yeast and teaspoon sugar and mix. Let sit five minutes, or until thick. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, place half a cup of the oil, salt and two-thirds cup sugar. Whisk well. Add the boiling water and whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the cold water and mix again.


Add the eggs to oil mixture, reserving one tablespoon to brush on the loaves. Cover the reserved egg and place in the fridge. When the yeast bubbles, add the yeast mixture to the bowl and stir.


Add the white whole-wheat flour and whisk in. Add five cups of the bread flour, one cup at a time, mixing the flour in completely after each addition. You can use the dough hook in a stand mixer or a wooden spoon. When the dough gets hard to mix, use your hands. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth, adding flour a little at a time from the remaining half cup. The dough is done when you rub your palm across the dough and it feels soft. Shape the dough into a ball. Lift up the dough and add the remaining teaspoon oil to the bowl and rub all around the bowl and on top of the dough. Place the dough into the oiled bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise one hour.


Cover two cookie sheets with Gefen Easy Baking Parchment Paper or silicone baking mats. Add two teaspoons water to the reserved beaten eggs and mix. Separate one-third of it into another bowl and set aside.


When the dough has risen, divide into three pieces. Divide each piece into eight balls.

Rosemary and Shallot Variation


Roll each piece of dough into a ball and then roll between your hands into a six- to eight-inch strand. Sprinkle some rosemary pieces on the strand and then tie each strand into a knot, pulling an end through the top to look like a button. Place on the cookie sheet. Brush with the egg wash from the larger amount. Divide the chopped shallots among the rolls and sprinkle the remaining rosemary on top. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and salt on top.

Olive and Za’atar Variation


Place the za’atar into small bowl and add some salt and pepper and mix. Use your hands to roll each piece on the counter into a six- to eight-inch strand. Place horizontally in front of you and use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough until it is about three inches wide.


Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon za’atar across each piece of dough. Take about seven olive pieces and press across the dough. Fold the long side of dough over the filling and then roll up to close. Pinch the edges shut as best as you can. Tie each strand into a knot, pulling an end through the top to look like a button. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Before baking, brush with egg wash.

Honey and Walnut Variation


In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the oil and honey for 30 seconds and stir. In another bowl, place the chopped walnut, cinnamon and brown sugar and mix.


Use your hands to roll each piece of dough on the counter into a six- to eight-inch strand. Take a piece of parchment or waxed paper and sprinkle most of the nut mixture on top, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the rolls. Brush the strands all over with the honey and oil mixture and then roll in the nut mixture to cover all sides. Tie each strand into a knot, pulling an end through the top to look like a button. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash mixed with the teaspoon honey. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top and press the bottoms of the rolls into any nuts still on the parchment.

To Bake


Let rolls rise 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Store covered at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

Flavored Challah Rolls: Rosemary and Shallot, Olive and Za'atar, or Walnut and Honey

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