Chocolate Chip Challah
This Chocolate Chip Challah is delicious, impressive, and perfect to serve with your Hanukkah dinner or on Shabbat! It’s light, fluffy, rich, and absolutely delicious. The chocolate chips make a fun addition to the classic challah!
I still clearly remember the first time I made challah. It was probably one of my first experiences making any sort of yeast bread. I couldn’t have been older than 7 or 8. I still remember kneading the sticky dough and making a sticky, floury mess all over the kitchen as my sister and I attempted to craft the challah under the guidance of our Hebrew tutor.
Now, I don’t remember how our challah tasted, or if it even ended up looking like challah, but I do remember making it being so much fun.
Baking with yeast can sometimes still be anxiety inducing, but instant yeast has proven itself to be almost foolproof. No proofing required, just mix everything together and knead away (or, let your stand mixer knead away). I thought I totally messed up this chocolate chip challah recipe! I thought my water wasn’t warm enough when added to the dough, so the yeast wouldn’t activate. Despite my freak out, the challah dough rose beautifully. It did take a little extra time to rise because my kitchen was cool, but this dough is soft, silky, and wonderful to work with.
I decided to try out a new technique for shaping this chocolate chip challah. Though I gave it my best shot in the instructions on how to explain how to wrap it, if you’re a visual person head over to Smitten Kitchen for great how-to pics of how to shape this challah.
Of course, now and forever I will put chocolate wherever I can, so I had to make my challah with chocolate chips in it. Chocolate chip challah has always been my fave on Jewish holidays, getting slathered with butter and devoured. I did precisely that to this loaf! It didn’t last long as my housemates and I slivered off slices and watched it dwindle down way too quickly.
Don’t want chocolate? Leave it out – this recipe makes a great classic challah bread too, no chocolate needed!
This chocolate chip challah even toasted up well. It would no doubt make great french toast if you manage to keep it around that long. It’s beautiful, and will be the perfect thing to serve up with Channukah dinner or on Friday night Shabbat. It’s just delicious. Get your bread baking on – let’s make some challah!
How to store challah
This challah is best served fresh, as most bread is, but you can keep it stored in a plastic bag or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap with as much of the air removed as possible. Keep it in the freezer, and thaw at room temperature before serving.
Want more Jewish recipes?
- Chocolate Chip Rugelach
- Blueberry Bagels
- Everything Bagels
- Apple Butter Rugelach
- Nutella Raspberry Rugelach
Chocolate Chip Challah
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Rising Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 1 challah loaf 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Jewish
- Diet: Kosher
- ½ cup warm water, about 110°F
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk, save the white to glaze the top
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus an extra ½ cup, if needed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the warm water, melted butter, eggs, and egg yolk. With the mixer on low, slowly add the water mixture and mix until a rough dough starts to form. Increase the speed to medium-low and let the machine knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic for about 8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/2 cup flour a little at a time.
- Lightly grease a large bowl, form the dough into a smooth ball, and place it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours (it took a little over 2 hours in my cold kitchen). To check if your dough has risen enough, press a finger into the dough. If it springs back, let it rise a little bit longer. If it stays indented, move onto the next step.
- When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured countertop and cut it in half. Roll the first half out into a rectangle and sprinkle the chocolate chips over it. Roll the dough into a tight rope. Very carefully stretch the rope of dough as far as you think you can from each end, and cut this long rope in half. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Place two ropes of dough in each direction, perpendicular to each other, like a pound symbol #. Weave them so that one rope is over and the other is under where they meet. Take the four legs that come from underneath the center and cross them over the rope to its right. Take the ropes that are now on the bottom and, again, cross each over the top rope, this time to the left. If you have extra length in your ropes, you can repeat these left-right jumps until you run out of rope. Tuck the ends of the ropes under the dough with the sides of your hands to form a round shape.*
- Once you’ve formed your challah, place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Beat the egg white and brush it over the dough. Let the challah rise another hour.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until deeply brown. If your challah is getting too dark too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time. The challah is done when a thermometer inserted into the center of the dough reads 195°F, or if you don’t have an instant thermometer, lift the challah gently with an oven mitt and knock gently on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it’s done.
This is tricky to describe in words, so I’m going to refer you to Smitten Kitchen’s post for a great visual on how to weave this bread!
Keywords: challah, chocolate chip challah, easy challah recipe
Recipe adapted from/inspired by Tracey’s Culinary Adventure’s, Purple House Cafe, and Smitten Kitchen
What if I just put this in my bread machine and let it do the work? I could braid it myself but I have no mixer to use.
Hi Joyce. I don’t have a bread machine (and have never used one), so I haven’t tried it. From what I know about how bread machine recipes work though, this one should work well until after the first rise since it uses instant yeast. If you try it, I’d love for you to report back on how it goes! :)
I can’t believe I’ve never made homemade challah before. I’ve made almost every other bread except for challah and this recipe is now bumped up to the top of my to-make/bake list! Love that you made it chocolate chip too. It would also be great with a classic cinnamon and raisin as well.
Challah is so delicious when it’s homemade! It would definitely be delicious with the classic cinnamon and raisin filling too. Thanks, Christina!
Hi Rachel! This looks so awesome. I love challah, but haven’t found the courage to make it at home yet. I love your recipe so much that I might just attempt it sometime soon. Thanks for sharing just in time for Chanukah (:
This looks totally incredible. LOVE the chocolate and that golden color! I don’t think I’ve ever even had Challah, but I feel like I definitely need to try this!
Thanks Ashley! You should definitely try challah, the taste and texture is similar to a brioche and it’s so good!
Wow! Stunning photos, my mouth is watering. So, I’ve never tried making bread before…do you think this is newb friendly? Or would you recommend starting with one of your other bread recipes?
Hi Michelle! This recipe is pretty newbie friendly – the hardest part is shaping the dough. Good luck, I hope you love the recipe!
This challah is GORGEOUS! And with chocolate?? – irresistible
I like your slightly grainy photos. Give’s the whole picture a very cool look. Also the background is great!! I need to get something dark blue soon :-)
Thanks, Howie! The grainy photos were a total mistake on my part, since I was practically out of light trying to shoot this challah on a cloudy day in WA and had to adjust the camera to even be able to see it – haha. But I’m glad you like the photos, I appreciate it!
This makes my world all ok. Chocolate with bread…life doesn’t get any sweeter!
Have a fabulous Monday!
I’ve always wanted to make challah! This seriously looks SO good and beautiful! Pinned!!
I’ve never made challah. But I must try it, it looks delicious!
This is SO beautiful Rachel! I’ve never made challah but now I sure wanna try! Pinned!
Thanks so much, Erica!
Wow Rachel! This is stunning! And I agree… chocolate in everything!!!
This looks so yummy! I shared on my FB so I can find it and make it after I go shopping. Thanks for sharing! #ibabloggers
Oh my, this looks absolutely delicious! Pinning! #ibabloggers
Oh my word!! GIRL this looks amazing!! I love it! …I want it!! …who doesn’t love chocolate?? …and fun baking memories! Great recipe :) PERF for this time of year :)
This is delicious, we have a similiar type of sweet and we make it at Easter !! Excellent pictures.
OMG! This challah looks incredible. I made pumpkin challah recently and it was to die for, but now I’m thinking chocolate chip is definitely the way to go. Can’t wait to try this one!
We have a similar kind of bread in Switzerland and I love making it from scratch! I NEVER thought of adding chocolate – what a great idea! And your pictures are gorgeous as ever Rachel!
Looks yummy and easy to make. I love those kind!! Pinned it!
LOVE the sound (and look – omg gorgeous photos as always) of this chocolate chip challah! I remember the first time I had challah too, and it is still a favorite around the holidays. I’m pinning this to make for my parents, they’ll be so impressed!
So beautiful, Rachel! Love those chocolate chips!! :)
G’day How delicious does your bread look? pinned
Cheers! Joanne #ibabloggers
I haven’t made challah yet, but I’ve seen recipes for it so many times recently I think I’ll need to make it ASAP!
Oh gosh, I love the idea of making French toast with callah. I’ve never made callah before, but I’ve always thought it’s so gorgeous! I think it’s so cute you and your sister used to make it when you were younger. :) I totally need to try this. Pinned!
Yum, this looks delicious, #pinned #ibabloggers
Your challah bread looks beautiful! Love that you added chocolate chips to it. And this would make AMAZING french toast!
Thanks so much, Natalie! It totally would – I wish I had some left to try it out, haha.
Rachel this is stunning! I bet it smelled amazing while it was baking! I adore yeast breads!
I have yet to make challah at home – I really need to give it a go. This is just gorgeous! And with the chocolate!
Thanks so much, Ashley!
this looks so fabulous! I think I have all of the ingredients to make it too. :)
oh my gosh, i love love love challah bread! this one looks SO amazing and BEAUTIFUL!! i bet this would make a KILLER french toast!
challah is SO pretty and soooo delicious and you made it even PRETTIER and DELICIOUSER with chocolate chips!
Impressive Rachel, so gorgeous and I love the addition of chocolate.
What could be better than challah with chocolate?! Love!
I love making Challah (in Germany, we like to make it around Easter and sometimes use raisins instead of chocolate).
If you have the time, just give it a try and put it in the fridge overnight. Yeast doughs don’t necessarily need a warm environment to rise and they turn out just as nice or (yes, I dare to say it) even nicer :)
Would there be any problems with baking if I make this into a regular 3-strand braid rather than a round loaf?
Nope, the baking time will likely just be a little different so I’d keep a closer eye on it for when it will be done (you can cross reference baking times with recipes for the shape you’ll be making). Enjoy!
Just made this. Easy and delicious.
I made this yesterday and it turned out perfectly, despite the fact that my yeast was from 2015! The only change I made was baking it at 350 for 30 minutes. I used 3 cups + about 2-3TB of flour. I have been so intimidated by using the dough hook on my stand mixer and decided it was time to get over it!!! Your recipe was easy to follow and even my braiding looked good. I have always bought chocolate challah bread at a local bakery which I’ve used to make bread pudding. Now I can just make it myself. Thanks for a great recipe.
I’m so thrilled you’re loving the recipe and that it turned out so great for you, Laurel! Thank you so much for the feedback.
Perfect and easy recipe! We have made it with and without the chocolate chips, and the loaves disappear quickly. So glad we found this recipe.
So glad you love it! Thanks for the feedback, Mary :)
Hello, wondering if there was a way to make this recipe Vegan as well? Thank you
Hi Cassandra, unfortunately, this would need to be significantly redeveloped to be a vegan recipe! I wouldn’t feel confident suggesting changes without trying them myself.