The Lazy Cook’s Challah In A Bag Recipe Is So Easy And Delicious

Challah In A Bag Pinterest

Feeling lazy? Make challah in a bag.


We’ve made some updates to the preparation. The recipe is now officially foolproof.

INGREDIENTS (1 challah)

1 tbsp. yeast

1 cup warm water

3 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tbsp. salt

1/3 cup canola oil

3 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup

1 egg for basting (optional for vegan challah, substitute olive oil)

Sesame seeds for topping


1. In a 1 gallon plastic ziplock bag, add the yeast, water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of flour.

2. Give the bag a little shake. Don’t work too hard- remember, it’s a lazy challah!

3. Place the bag in a bowl of warm water for 30 mins.

4. Remove from bowl, shake, release air from bag, and place on the table for 1 hour. Flip bag every 20 mins. The dough should be very wet. It will start to bubble and self-knead. WHOA.

5. After the 1 hour, add 1/4 cup flour and give the bag another shake. This makes the dough not stick to the bag.

6. Leave the bag for 1 hour and 30 mins to rise. It should still be a wet dough. If it’s not rising, flip it over and knock it down. If the dough is wet, the recipe will turn out amazing.

7. Preheat oven to 300F/150C.

8. On a well-floured surface, separate the dough and stretch out 3 strands. Braid.

9. Baste with egg and sprinkle sesame seeds (optional for vegan challah, substitute olive oil). Leave to rise for 15 mins before it goes in the oven.

10.  Bake on a non stick tray for 40 mins or until golden on top.

Shabbat shalom!

  • Mordechai

    Brilliant! I’m going to try this.

    • Marsha Everett

      I just baked my loaf. It smells and tastes great.

  • Suluby

    The recipe says “1/3 canola oil” ……. Is that 1/3 cup?

    • Suluby

      LOL Finally watched the video ….. and I got the answer!

  • Wendy Little

    So… mine didnt’ work. was a dry mealy texture after the water bath so i added more water and its just glue

    • Roberta Whitecrow

      amounts were incorrect. See post by Marsha Everett. It’s teaspoons…not tablespoons of yeast, salt and sugar.

      • Timaree

        I don’t think they are incorrect. You are using 3 1/4 cups of flour and the first rise is just 30 minutes. It takes plenty of yeast to to this. Also, 1/2 tablespoon of salt is just 1 1/2 tsp. I use in general 1/2 tsp to a cup of flour for breads. This is considered a sweeter bread than usual so 3 tablespoons of sugar to 3 cups of flour is not too much!

        • Patty

          3 cups flour to the first rise…

          • Timaree

            Yes, but then you add 1/4 cup. I was referencing the amount of flour to the other ingredients.

        • JStory


      • Dutchy Kolibrie

        I went by the measurements in the recipe and it came out great!

        • Patty

          I see now.. thank you. I made the challah and it is sweet bread and didn’t rise very much. And it seems like it is oil heavy.What did I do worng???

          • Dutchy Kolibrie

            I actually let mine rise longer. About another hour. ( Because my yeast packets were a little older. )And it was fine. I used a canola oil instead of veg. Oil. not sure if that makes a difference.

          • JStory

            A longer rise definitely helps. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight, which will give the challah even more flavor!

            The point of this recipe though was to make a quick, clean and easy challah.

      • JStory

        @Roberta Whitecrow:disqus The amounts are actually correct, but if you want to experiment with lower amounts of yeast, sugar and salt then go for it! The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the dough is very, very wet and sticky. If it is, it will come out beautifully every time.

  • Gwen M Sarko

    How can it be Challah with no egg in it?

    • Marsha Everett

      I brushed mine with one whole egg that I stirred with a fork.

    • Debra Royal

      The recipe states to you olive oil in place of the egg.

    • Debra Royal

      The recipe reads to use olive oil in place of the egg.

      • HKS

        but just to brush on top, I had same question, why no egg in the dough

  • Becky Rynkiewicz Dodson

    few times I’ve been around this track, but it’s not just gonna happen like that. cuz i aint no challah bag girl….

    • Joyce Gutterman

      You don’t use any eggs in the dough?

      • Becky Rynkiewicz Dodson

        no, just bananas. b a n a n a s.

    • Jenny Behr

      That is hilarious!

      • Becky Rynkiewicz Dodson

        🙂 thanks!

    • Ann Johnson

      Word! LOL

    • Chantraine

      This sh is bananas, B A N A N A S!

  • Bronwyn Merritt

    anyone had success?

    • Marsha Everett

      Yes just took out of oven and house smells great. see post above.

  • Marsha Everett

    BEWARE. The directions have any incorrect size. TBSP means TABLESPOON. This is wrong size. It should be TSP which means TEASPOON. You will have a disaster if you use a tablespoon size. I’ve been baking bread for years and this is a great tip using bag but not the wrong amounts of yeast, salt and sugar.

    • Vijay

      Will 1tsp be enough? Even if you buy yeast in the packets it’s 2 1/4 tsp.

      • Roberta Whitecrow

        keep the opened packet of unused yeast in back of frig. It will keep for quite a while back there. Usually 1 month.

    • Ally Kinsala Engelman

      Thank you for sharing the correct measurements. I’m going to try this.

    • Jenny Behr

      Great, I just mixed this up using a Tablespoon.

      • Timaree

        And it will probably be great!

      • Patty

        Me too.. over 45 years of baking and cooking those things were always the same as what Marsha says.. I JUST mixed mine also..can’t wait to see how it comes out.. I’ll keep ya posted 😎

      • Jane A. Thompson

        Me too!!

    • Leslie (eserafina42)

      Those look like the right amounts compared to my recipe, which seems to make a slightly bigger loaf. This says 1 tbsp of yeast, and mine says 1-1/2 tbsp (or 3 for two loaves). It has 1/2 tbsp of salt and mine has the same amount.

    • Chris Allen

      actually Tbsp means table spoon, with the sharing of cultures now a days, tbsp can also mean teaspoon as it is lower case. I have I have had to adjust many recipes over a 30 year culinary career because of this. That is why my first attempt at any recipe not created by me is a trial and I keep enough resources on hand in case I have to make it a second time.

      • Timaree

        I do not see how. A teaspoon does not have a “b” in it. How in the world could it be construed as a teaspoon? I can see “T” or “tsp.” being confusing and have questioned those before.

        • FiremanSam

          As a retired pharmacist i know too well what wrong units can do -best to spell out the units in full such you never make a mistake and keep all units the same if recipe demands table spoon for one ingredient and teaspoon for other another ingredient then keep all the ingredient units as either one or the other

        • Ummm hello I was wondering the same thing.

    • JStory

      Marsha, we actually wrote tablespoons on purpose, but happy to hear that it worked out for you anyways. 🙂

    • FiremanSam

      I agree there was an error always better to express the units measure as teaspoon or table spoon and not to abbreviate units

  • Marsha Everett

    I used 1 Teaspoon slightly rounded of Red Star Active Yeast, 1/2 (half) teaspoon salt, and 3 Teaspoons rounded of sugar, ( you can substitute honey), I worked out great. Most important thing is do not set it in a drafty area can put inside of Microwave (off) if running Airconditioner as I have to do in Arizona. I also allowed 15 minutes to rise after braiding. I added Blue Poppy seeds to the Sesame seeds. Everything else was same as receipe above.

    • Roberta Whitecrow

      As a baker, I am surprised they didnt specify to let it rise a second time after braiding.

      • Jenny Behr

        It wasn’t in the video, but in the written instructions.
        8. Baste with egg and sprinkle sesame seeds (optional for vegan challah, substitute olive oil). Leave to rise for 15 mins (optional but recommended).

      • JP

        They did, for 15 minutes

    • lauren

      it’s beautiful!!! 🙂

    • Debbie Sedita-Kosiarski

      I thought the measurement of yeast was 1 tablespoon?

  • BringData

    Very strange that it doesn’t have eggs in it. I want to try it…

  • Timaree

    Some people are saying to alter the amount of sugar, salt and yeast. Don’t. This really isn’t too much for a quick rise bread as they are doing here and also for the amount of flour! Give it a try first as is. You can also use eggs by adding one or two to a measuring cup and then filling to the 1 cup mark with water.

    • I can’t imagine challah w/o the yellow color from eggs, so I added one egg this way. Waiting to see how it turns out. Thanks for the tip!

      • Narelle Morley

        how did it turn out?

  • Ross Hill

    That is just braided bread. I assemble bread kits for camping. All of the dry in a freezer weight zipper bag add the wet and mix.

    • Timaree

      Yes but many people don’t do camping and haven’t experienced bread making this way. Is there a real point to what your comment was saying?

  • Mary-Jane Garnett

    First attempt was dismal. 2nd attempt much better, BUT, just how well do you have to “work” the bag to incorporate the flour? I worked the bag a lot on attempt #2, but still wound up with a few lumps of flour that never mixed in.

    • JStory

      You really don’t need to work it. If the dough is very wet, there shouldn’t be any flour lumps.

      • Mary-Jane Garnett

        That’s what I thought based on watching the video. Since the video is at warp speed, it was hard to be sure. Even the 1/4c flour didn’t mix in at all on my 2nd attempt. Parts of the dough were soft and gooey, while other sections had flour lumps. Who knows? I have little-to-no experience baking bread so I’ll chalk it up to that! At least attempt #2 was edible because I kneaded it to work in all the flour.

  • Princess

    Bake at only 300?

    • JStory

      The low baking temperature allows the dough to rise more in the oven to save time!

      Mind = blown.

      • Princess

        Thank you for your prompt reply. I plan on making it this weekend!

  • richlite

    Watched video, read instructions above… BIG MISTAKE! The video DOES NOT SHOW the 1 1/2 hour second rise that the instructions show! SOMEONE got in a BIG hurry to make the video! REDO !

  • Carmela Costello

    I made this today, exactly as the directions stated. It came out soft like Challah, obviously didn’t have the yellow color due to no eggs but it came out perfect. I didn’t change a thing from the recipe.

  • Karla

    OMG I made bread!!!! That’s what I said my Fiancé when the bread was done. This was a super easy recipe, love it!!! Followed instructions and this was my result ?

  • Chaya Nebel

    there are three rising times for this dough, for all those complaining about only one. The first is the 30 minute rise in the bowl of water. The second is an hour. The 3rd is an hour and a half.

    • Dawn McCall

      4th is 15 minutes after braiding before you put it in the oven

  • Janine Milner

    Mine is lumpy can someone help me please !

    • JStory

      Janine, if your dough is very wet and sticky (as this challah dough should be), then the lumps will take care of themselves if you allow it to rise.

      If the dough is on the drier side, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until the dough is wet and sticky, then give it a mush.

      Lastly, give it some more time to rise. It should take care of itself.

      Let us know how it goes!

    • THANK YOU, Janine – when I took the dough out of the bag, it had *tons* of dryish, yellow lumps in it. But I was afraid to really mix it up in the bag, as the directions say to just give it “a shake”. Next time I’ll make sure to give it a good mixing! 🙂

      • jay

        Made this about a dozen times and have gotten real good at
        it.Only change is I mix all ingredients in a bowl then put in bag. I
        found when mixing in bag it did not mix well.

  • Hydee

    Not sure if you will see this question… I’m making this challah now and I was following the directions and then watched the video. I was at the flip every 20 mins for an hour part and then saw in the video you added the extra 1/4c flour at that point. So I quickly did. Then I retread directions and saw there not to add the extra flour until after the first hour. I was starting to see the bubbling but when I added the flour it has not been doing that ☹️ Sure hope it will still turn out ok!!

  • V Mac Farlane

    omg i made it as stated and Mmmmmmmmmmmm I CANNOT believe how good and sweet, moist it is.. golden brown.. i didnt make any changes at all.. after braiding i let it sit on top of the stove for 20 mins before putting into the oven.. this is definietly a keeper..

  • Aly S

    Just baked mine for Shabbat tomorrow. I guess I made them too long and thin. Should I have made them shorter and fatter? Or put them in a baking pan with sides so it doesn’t spread out?

  • Tracy Mobley

    can I use olive oil in place of canola oil?

    • JStory

      Yep, it adds a nice different flavor.

      • Tracy Mobley

        yes it was really good, had it with homemade borscht :)) thank you

  • kristi

    I’ve made this twice and my family is IN LOVE!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! Is there a way to make it up to a certain point the night before, then store it in the refrigerator overnight, then pick up again in the morning to finish? I don’t want to mess it up…any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • JStory

      If you put it in the fridge after the first rise, or at some point during or after the second rise, it will continue to rise overnight. It will even develop some extra flavor- we tested it and it was a hit.

      If you’re using the fridge method, give it extra time to come to room temperature before baking and it will have more lift. Let us know how it goes 🙂

      • William sweeney

        hi,started late in the day,and saw that you said you could put in refrigerator and 1st after 2nd rise,it didn’t rise that much but I did put in would have been very late in evening before I finished.and I also put extra flour in after 1st rise. it’s not rising very quickly,but I see bubbles and been flipping it.

  • Rena

    I’m using the lower amounts of the yeast, sugar and salt. I also did 2 eggs, beat them and added enough water to make the cup then added the oil on top of that. Mixed the flour with the salt, yeast and sugar and added the flour. I am on the long rise now and everything is going beautifully. You could see the air bubbles in the dough as I was turning the bread every 20 minutes.

  • Rena

    I am making this today using the teaspoon amounts. After the 3-20 minute turns you could see all the lovely air bubbles in the dough. I do not anticipate any issues with the dough not rising for the next 90 minutes, or after shaping.

    • Ruth Shapovalov

      To smooth out the dough, I had my kids at the B&G Club go ahead and knead the dough right in the bag until it got smooth. Otherwise, what were they going to do with all that time? 🙂

  • Vicki S

    no egg??

  • Vicki S

    no eggs?

  • Sharlene Anderson

    Rapid rise yeast or regular yeast??

  • Sarah Weiss

    Can I use gluten free flour for this recipe? It has xanthan gum in it.

    • JStory

      Wouldn’t recommend it, that xanthan gum flour is very sticky and needs a real knead. I’d use a mixer for best results.

      • Sarah Weiss

        Thank you for the reply. If I use a gluten free flour without xanthan gum, do you think I can then try it?

        • JStory

          I’d still use a mixer or give it a good knead… Shabbat shalom!

          • Sarah Weiss

            Thank you! Shabbat Shalom!!

        • Timaree

          I doubt it will work. Gluten free flour doesn’t have the gluten necessary for the dough to rise and be springy. Best to try a regular gluten free recipe and then if it works, try converting it to a bag.

  • Ruth Shapovalov

    I had the teens in my Boys and Girls Club program make this two days in a row! That’s how good it was, and how much fun for them.

  • Bigmactx1

    that isnt challah

  • Bigmactx1
  • Judit Szenes

    I just made this. I didn’t bake challah, since my 30+ year old kids were small. This was incredible easy, no machinery, no dirty dishes to clean up after, just toss the bag, when you are done. Amazing. I doubled the receipt, (in a bigger bag) and YES NO EGGS, only for the top. Came out perfect, delicious, light. I sprinkled it with pink Himalayan salt on the top besides the sesame seeds. I baked it in 350 oven. I will make it again and again. It was fun.

    • DealsSeeker

      You made all these Challah with the double recipe?

  • Judit Szenes

    I just made this. I didn’t bake challah, since my 30+ year old kids were small. This was incredible easy, no machinery, no dirty dishes to clean up after, just toss the bag, when you are done. Amazing. I doubled the receipt, (in a bigger bag) and YES NO EGGS, only for the top. Came out perfect, delicious, light. I sprinkled it with pink Himalayan salt on the top besides the sesame seeds. I baked it in 350 oven. I will make it again and again. It was fun.

    • nomdp

      howwww do you make those braided round ones? theyre beautiful!

    • Beryl Singer-Horrigan

      how do you make the pretty round one in the lower right?

    • Jan Wilson Ruppel

      Thats beautiful!

      • Guylaine Beaulieu

        Je voudrais avoir cette recette en Français pain fais dans un sac ziploc en privé ou sur Facebook Merci

  • Getting annoyed

    I am now doing it for a second time. The first time did Not come out in the least bit. Wasn’t nearly mixed enough (followed instructions)
    Now i was able to get it to the braiding part but the dough looks Nothing like the video !!!! Letting it raise and we’ll see

  • Okay – here’s my 1st effort. I got a very, VERY lumpy finished dough, but those lumps seem to be gone now that I’m biting into the bread.

    It’s not as light and high as other folks’s amazing creations, but for a first go? I’m amazed. Next time I’ll 1) mix it a bit better at first, 2) knead it a little in the bag before pouring it out onto the mixing pad, and 3) brush the egg onto the bread at the start, not halfway through. (OOPS.)

  • Debbie Sedita-Kosiarski

    I have mine in the oven right now…. Two, because I thought I messed up on the first, started second really close in time to the first… I’m not a seasoned baker! Anyway, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings

  • @WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    I just finished step one. My dough was in the bag and my wife was standing next to it, she said, “Do you think it will turn out good?” I said it will be the bomb. Soon as I said it the Bag explodes the seal with a big Bang! Freaked her out. I’m excited! Shalom from Tennessee

  • Arlene Gilbert

    i bet this will make excellent french toast in a couple of days.. thanks.

  • Greta Holt

    What kind of yeast? I started one and then wondered if I put enough yeast in and then started a second one (mad scientist here). Not rising as much as in the video. Made lots of bread in my time so not sure other than maybe I should use fast rising yeast. Feedback please.

  • sharon

    This was the WORST challah I have ever made. It had no flavor,and the texture was terrible. It was wet in places after baking, it was golden on top and browned on the bottom(45 mins) and had lumps of unmixed dough. It did not rise during baking. I was very dissapointed

  • Céline Totaro

    The video says to put the 1/4 cup of flour after the 30 mins and then stand for 1h the instructions says something else after the 30 min to leave it for one hour then add the flour then stand for an other 1h30…which one is the right steps?

  • Carol Hlastala

    Hello Everyone, Going to give this recipe a try 🙂 I Love making homemade breads. This just says Yeast, what kind ?? Instant, Dry Active, etc.

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  • mr big

    Tbsp vs Tsp = Tablespoon vs Teaspoon… Measurement in this country has always been a constant… The recipe itself is confusing and is clearly not step by step.

  • MyD

    There’s no egg in this recipe – Challah is a very egg-y bread. I made this and it was rather tasteless. Definitely not Challah imho and not worth making.

  • Debi Quilts Rodriguez

    I am making this now, though I’m wondering if I should have sifted the flour. We’ll see how it comes out.

  • Barbara Manley

    I have made this once a week for the past month – twice with Himalayan pink salt replacing the sesame seeds and once where I rolled out the dough to 24″X5″, did a light layer of butter, sprinkled sugar and cinnamon, then rolled from a long edge so I had a round(ish) tube. Curled the tube on the baking sheet, topped with the egg wash and some raisins. Best and easiest cinnamon roll ever! My 4th batch of dough is rising right now – going with the salt again as it makes a perfect side for autumn soups, stews (if only my husband would stop wanting to eat so much of it right out of the oven!)

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  • Chani

    If I double the recipe, do I need to use two separate bags, or can I put it in one bag?

  • jay

    I have made this about a dozen times and have gotten real good at it.Only change is I mix all ingredients in a bowl then put in bag. I found when mixing in bag it did not mix well.

  • Sarah Schultz

    I like my Challah egg-y…Can egg be added to the recipe and still be done in the bag?

    • JStory

      Oh, ya. If you add 1 egg, and keep the recipe as-is, the dough might be too wet to braid. Maybe add a touch more flour. Let us know how it works out!
      – Jewlish

  • Chris Galipeau

    I just tried and didn’t worked at all… I won’t understand people had success with this receipe…

  • I have a traditional recipe (not the above) for bread, and when I make challah with it, comes out beautifully, usually I get two loaves, can be sliced or each can be torn off as a roll. Anyone notice that all challah comes out as 12? Love it.

  • HKS

    I’ve got my first loaf in the oven right now, super easy, hope it tastes super! Does anyone know why this egg bread only has egg brushed on top?

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  • MaisyDaisy

    Yes, because there is not enough plastic destroying the planet. (That was sarcasm. Use a bowl.)

  • Laureen

    I tried this recipe yesterday but my challah was dense and hard. Any tips for a light and fluffy challah? Thanks! 🙂

    • Stacy Wells

      Laureen, I haven’t made this recipe, yet, but I’ve made a lot of breads. If you over work the dough during the mixing or kneading stages it will come out dense and hard. You only need to knead/mix most bread doughs until the dough is slightly sticky, smooth, and elastic. It won’t rubber band but it will stretch nicely before tearing. Also, follow closely the rise times, including the 15 minutes just before you put it in the oven, so that more air will be incorporated into the dough.

  • good-doggie

    “Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.” That was my motto until I tried this today. This one’s a keeper!! I think I’ll try it with honey instead of sugar and I am definitely adding sesame seeds to my shopping list for next time.

    • Barbara Holmes

      Be careful adding a different ingredient (honey) w/o trying it out first. Yeast needs sugar to rise. Honey is much more complex than sugar, and it might not work.

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  • Camille

    THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!!!! Nearly gagging trying to eat it! We followed directions perfectly, and it is a total waste of good ingredients! IT’S DISGUSTING AND UPSETTING!!

  • Linda

    Regular yeast, or quick rise???

  • Carla Summers Williams

    Can you use olive oil or butter in place of the canola oil? I’m not a fan of canola.

  • Mary Rosenthal

    So what conclusion did everyone come to? Is it tablespoon or teaspoon?

  • Jo Ann O’Connell

    Today is the second attempt at making this………….I cook all the time, I did exactly what the recipe called for and its sitting in warm water and no rise….the yeast i just bought and it expires 2018. What in god’s name am I doing wrong? This second time I added the wet ingredients first then the dry. Help

  • SteveSVR

    We’ve tried this recipe two different times. Tablespoons, not teaspoons. 300 oven / 350 oven (and calibrated the oven too). Rise time as listed / Extra rise time. Both times it came out very, very dense. There’s something amiss for too many people to call this recipe foolproof.

    • Lynn B

      You’re right, Steve. So many mistakes in the video instructions (no mention of last two rise times), oven temp discrepancy, and there’s no way tbsp means tsp. I guess I’ll follow the gal who bakes so much and says the measurements should be tsp?

  • Vered Shaffer

    I tried this and the flavor was amazing, but the bread came out doughy not airy. Any advice?

  • Mrsfitz Well, since I’m not actually Jewish I decided to make this today even though it’s Passover . I hope it isn’t full of holes as it took almost 3 hours to get it to rise. I wish I had seen the note about putting in the microwave if the house is cool. This is my first attempt at yeasted bread…. and , of course, I was out of sesame seeds so I used poppy and flaky salt, kind of like an everything bagel.

  • Bruno Alves

    I have seen this video on Facebook and just now saw the written recipe. As its my first time ever trying to make bread, i followed literally the video and didnt heat the water when mixed with yeast, wondering if it will still work or if i ruined the recipe. Im on the “rise for 1h part”. Maybe i have to start over?