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Chalka or Challah

  • Author: Polish Housewife
  • Prep Time: 150 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: Polish


A beautiful braided egg bread


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 26 tablespoons sugar (depending on your taste)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • for topping:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseeds or sesame seeds


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over 1/2 cup warm water (110 F) to soften, stir until dissolved
  2. Heat milk, butter, sugar, and salt until sugar dissolves, cool to lukewarm and stir in 2 cups of flour
  3. Add yeast and 2 eggs, combine, and add enough flour to make a soft dough (anouther cup to 1 1/2 cups)
  4. Knead on a floured surfaces, continuing to add flour for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth
  5. Form into a ball, and place in an oiled bowl, turn the dough over (this oils the top), and cover the bowl, leave in a warm place unti doubled in size about 90 minutes
  6. Punch down the dough, divide into thirds, roll each third into an 18 inch strand, braid, securing the ends by tucking under
  7. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover, let rise, about 30 minutes
  8. Whisk together the egg yolk and water, gently brush the loaf with this egg wash and sprinkle with seeds
  9. Bake at 375 F for 35 – 45 minutes, the bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped (mine is a little too brown, it should have come out a few minutes earlier)


If you want to make the sweetened topping like, combine 4 teaspoons butter, with 3 tablespoons of sugar, work in up to 1/2 cup of flour until you have a nice crumble, sprinkle this over the egg wash rather then poppy or sesame seeds