Recipe by Brynie Greisman

Heavenly White Spelt Challah

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Parve Parve
Easy Easy
10 Servings
3 Hours, 20 Minutes

This divine challah recipe is from my sheitel lady, Chani Kroizer, with my tweaking. I have a gazillion challah recipes, but ever since I tried this, I haven’t gone back to any other recipe. It tastes and looks like regular white challah. When I tell people it’s spelt, they are incredulous. Honestly, you really can’t tell.

Yields 1 large, 7 medium, and 5 rolls; or 11 medium; or 2 large and 3 medium loaves


White Spelt Challah

  • 2 tablespoons Haddar Kosher or Himalayan salt

  • 17–18 cups (4.4 pounds/2 kilograms + 2 cups) Shibolim White Spelt Flour, divided

  • 2 full tablespoons Gefen Dry Yeast

  • 2 full tablespoons dough enhancer (omit if unavailable)

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) fresh yeast

  • 3 and 1/2 cups warm water, divided

  • 1 cup plus 2–3 tablespoons sugar, divided (I use Demerara sugar)

  • boiling water, to cover sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • scant 1 cup oil


  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

  • 1 teaspoon sugar


Prepare the White Spelt Challah


Place salt, 10 cups of flour, dry yeast, and dough enhancer, if using, into the bowl of a mixer. Mix well. Meanwhile, dissolve fresh yeast in ½ cup warm water. Add two to three tablespoons sugar and let sit for a few minutes until it begins to bubble.


Prepare two 3/4-cup measuring cups. Pour 1/2 cup sugar in each and carefully pour boiling water till the top. Let it sit until the sugar dissolves somewhat and the water is warm. Stir gently. Pour the yeast mixture into the mixer, followed by the cooled sugar-water mixture.


Turn on the mixer and add the remaining three cups warm water, alternating with the remaining flour. Add eggs midway and add oil slowly when a dough starts to form. Beat for 10 minutes until a soft dough forms. If necessary, add a little more flour.


Turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on again and beat for an additional 10 minutes.


Remove the dough from the bowl with oiled hands and place in a large garbage bag. Close the bag and put it in a warm place to rise for one hour.


Take challah with a brachah.


Braid or form challos and place in baking pans lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled, at least a half hour.

Prepare the Topping


Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Mix egg, coffee, sugar, and oil for topping. Brush challos with the egg mixture and sprinkle with seeds of your choice. Place loaves in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.


Raise the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and bake for another 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) and bake for another 10–20 minutes, depending on the size of the challos. Be sure to switch trays halfway through.


Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, preferably out of the pan.


If you want especially high, fluffy challos, place each challah in its own bag to rise and close tightly. To make your challos uniform in size, weigh your dough before shaping. Large challos are generally one and 1/2 pound (680 grams), medium challos are 14 ounces (400 grams), and rolls are three and 1/2 – 4 ounces (100–110 grams).


Note: This recipe works beautifully with 80 percent whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour) and with a combo of white spelt and 80 percent spelt. You may have to adjust the amount of water.


Food and Prop Styling by Shiri Feldman. Food Prep and Styling by Chef Suzie Gornish. Photography by Felicia Peretti.

Heavenly White Spelt Challah

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