Cardamom Infused Challah

Challah 0036 by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus time for dough to rise overnight
Yields: 2 challah loaves


  • 235 ml + 118 ml luke warm water
  • 50g + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 600g all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85g + 1 tablespoon acacia honey +
  • 155 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A good pinch of ground cardamom
  • 50g sliced almonds


  1. Put 235ml warm water in a small bowl. Add the 2 teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle the yeast over top and swirl the bowl just to combine. Set aside for it to proof for five minutes.
  2. In the meantime mix flour, salt, 50g sugar and cardamom in a large bowl until ingredients are mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix remaining water, honey, oil, and eggs.
  4. Add the proofed yeast to the flour, followed by wet ingredients. Mix with a large wooden spoon so that it is just combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. Using your hands begin to knead making sure to incorporate what's at the bottom and the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead until the dough until dough is smooth. It will be slightly sticky at this point. Empty dough onto well-floured surface and continue to knead until smooth and no longer sticky, adding flour with a light hand as needed, 7-10 minutes
  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Set each in a large oiled bowl, cover both bowls with plastic wrap or a damp towel then allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to set out the dough on the countertop in plenty of time before shaping, so it can come to room temperature.
  7. Preheat the oven to 170 C. Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  8. After the rise, the dough should be soft, silky and pliable. Divide each mound of dough into three equal balls, so that you have a total of six. Roll each ball into a log almost 30 cm long. Braid 3 of the logs together to create 1 loaf then repeat with the remaining 3 logs for your second loaf. Pinch the top edges of your logs together then place one log over the next and braid until you reach the bottom, pinch these edges together. Tuck the tips beneath the loaf when braiding is finished. Repeat with second loaf.
  9. Put each loaf on its own baking sheet. Make the eggwash by mixing the yolk with a 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over loaves. Sprinkle the loaves with the sliced almonds.
  10. Bake in the oven for approx. 20-25 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and baked through.