Soft and rich challah bread baked into little knots, these rolls are perfect for any occasion!
Easter is one of my favorite holidays. After a long, cold, and dark winter, it feels so good to celebrate the arrival of spring. Right now the leaves on the trees are just starting to bud, flowers are blooming everywhere, and I feel like flip-flop season is right around the corner.
I’m seriously so, so excited. Flip-flops, you guys.
This year for Easter I’m hosting some of my family at our house and while it won’t be anything too fancy, you can bet that a few special recipes will find their way to the table. Like these challah rolls, which first debuted on this site for Easter 2010 and have been a favorite ever since.
These rolls are just my challah bread recipe portioned out and tied into knots. Challah (pronounced halla!) is made from an enriched yeast dough, meaning it has more fat and sugar than traditional yeast dough. It’s super soft and delicate and the baked bread is tender and full of so much flavor.
I have what feels like dozens of roll recipes on my blog, but these are easily in my top two or three. They’re not any harder to make than other rolls, but they’re just so pretty and feel a little fancy. They’re perfect for any dinner or gathering or party you have coming up!
(Psst, look for more Easter recipes coming your way over the next two weeks. Have any requests? Please leave them in the comments!)
baking tip:What is bread flour?
Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which helps with gluten development and makes it ideal for yeast bread baking. Breads baked with bread flour will rise higher and tend to have a chewier and more elastic texture.
However, while there may be a difference in the final baked bread depending on the recipe, you can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour in most cases.
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water (125 ml)
- 1/3 cup honey (115 grams)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted and cooled (56 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 - 3 ½ cups bread flour (360-420 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water , beaten (for egg wash)
- Poppy seeds , for sprinkling (optional)
- Combine warm water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes till foamy.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large bowl if you intend to knead by hand), combine the yeast mixture, honey, butter, and eggs. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, and the salt. Mix on low until it comes together to make a wet dough. Continue adding remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to your fingers when touched. You may not need all 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Dough should be able to be handled, but still very soft. It will not clear the bowl.
- Continue kneading on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes more.
- Gently form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Gently punch down dough and gather back into a ball. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll out into a 6-inch long rope and tie into a knot. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled again, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if using. Bake until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes.
- Serve warm. Rolls are best the day they are baked, but will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- See also, how to make a challah braid.
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