Éric Kayser shows you how to braid the ancestral Challah.


This delight between the bread and the brioche is extremely good when it is made by the book.

The ingredients:

500g of T55 flour.
10g of salt.
50g of sugar.
225g of water.
1 egg (+ 1 another for the glaze).
50g of sunflower oil (or olive oil if you prefer).
75g of sourdough starter.
15g of fresh baker yeast.
And sesame for the decoration (optional).

The utensils:

A mixing bowl.
A brush.
A dough scraper.
An oven rack and its greaseproof paper.
An electric stand mixer (optional)

The timings:

1st rest: 20 minutes.
2nd rest: 20 à 30 minutes.
Proofing: 1h30.
Baking: 25 min at 220°C.

The recipe:

Pour the liquids first: the egg, the sourdough starter, the oil, the water and the yeast.
Blend to have a homogenous preparation.
With the electric stand mixer: a few minutes at first speed.
By hand: blend enough in order to dilute the yeast in the liquids.


Add the flour, the salt (on one side) and the sugar (on the other).
Mix till you get a homogeneous dough.
With the electric stand mixer: a few minutes at second speed.
By hand: “cut” your dough between your hands to give it strength.


Flour your table and “cut” your dough for a dozen of minutes.
Finish the kneading by insufflating air in the dough by throwing it, pulling it and turning it a quarter turn.
The kneading is finished when the dough is almost unstuck from your table.


Form a ball with your dough.
Flour your mixing bowl.
And leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes.


Divide the dough in 100g pieces.
And pre-shape your doughs in a batard form. Make sure that your seams are stuck.
Leave the doughs to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.


Shape your dough in a batard form, making sure that your seams are stuck.
Stretch your batard by rolling them on your floured table with your hands, in order to get the form of long strips.


Braid your Challah with three rolls.
Stick the top opposed to you.
And braid the right strip in the middle, and the left strip in the middle, etc… until the end.
Gently flatten the end.
Take the other end back and finalise the braiding.
Put some flour in the ends.


Do this shaping again with the three other doughs.


If your want to add sesame: moisten your dough with a brush and water. And put it in a plate full of sesame. Be generous.

Let it proof on your over rack with the greaseproof paper for 1h30.


Glaze your doughs with a whisked egg.


Put into the oven at 220°C for 25 minutes.


It is time to share this wonder with your love ones.