How to Braid a Six-Strand Challah Bread Loaf

Contributed by Peter Fritz

A six-strand challah creates a thick, wide challah with a pretty design. However, I found the instructions hard to follow until I discovered simplified instructions on the Internet. All you have to remember is “over two, under one, over two.” Saying it out loud as you braid keeps you on track.

Step 1

Create six equal balls of dough. Roll each ball to create six equal strands. Taper your strands at both ends so they are thick in the middle and thin at the ends. Strive for 12-inch strands.

Step 2

Pinch the six strands together at one tapered end. Spread out the attached strands of dough on your work surface. Lift the far left or right strand to begin weaving.

Step 2

Step 3

Weave the strand over the next two strands. Lift the third strand with your free hand and pull the weaving strand under it. Keep the weaving strand in your hand and take it over the next two strands of dough. Tighten up your loaf by pulling the fifth strand into the weave before you put down your weaving strand. Place your weaving strand of dough on your work surface.

Step 3

Step 4

Weave the challah strands again by using the strand now on the outer edge of the attached six strands of challah dough. Start from the same direction throughout the weaving process. Repeat Step 3 until you have woven the entire length of challah dough.

Step 4

Step 5

Pinch the tapered ends of the challah loaf to secure the weave. Tuck both pinched ends under the loaf of bread. If your loaf seems too long and skinny, you will need to “plump” it a little to create a more stout loaf shape. Simply place your rounded hands at each end of the braid and gently push the two ends toward each other.

Step 5

Step 6

Place the woven loaf on a baking sheet. Allow the challah to rise for 30 minutes before baking.

The instructions for making a four-strand challah are similar. All you have to remember is “over one, under one, over one.”