Sweet cinnamon raisin challah bread is airy, soft and fluffy with a beautiful golden crust coated with almonds. This light and fluffy bread is packed with raisins, sweetened with honey, and warmly spiced with cinnamon. Bake this 3-strand braided challah in a loaf pan and enjoy it warm out of the oven for breakfast or lunch, or save it to make some amazing french toast.
Challah bread (also known as "egg bread" as it is enriched with eggs) is a traditional Jewish bread that is baked during holidays. You can enjoy it plain (as in our easy challah bread) or completely customize it as we do here with raisins, cinnamon and almonds. Challah is a braided loaf of bread (typically with three or six strands). We did a three-point braid and baked ours in a loaf pan so the braided texture is not as visible. For a more defined braided look, you can use this recipe to bake a loaf on a baking sheet (see our easy challah bread for braiding and baking instructions).
Cinnamon Raisin Challah Ingredients
To make this sweet cinnamon raisin challah bread, you will need the following ingredients:
- active dry yeast
- honey - you want to use liquid honey, not raw honey.
- vegetable oil
- all-purpose flour
- ground cinnamon
- slivered almonds - to add on top of the loaf.
How to Make the Best Cinnamon Raisin Challah Bread with Almonds
- Prepare the dough: In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in water and whisk in all the wet ingredients including honey, oil, and egg yolk (separate the egg white from egg yolk and save the egg white for the egg wash later). The mixture should start to bubble and develop a yeasty aroma. In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, cinnamon and salt. Pour in wet ingredients and mix well until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
- Knead the dough: Knead the dough on a clean surface for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball. Transfer the dough back into the bowl and coat with a little bit oil to prevent from drying out.
- First rise: Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Add raisins: Punch down to deflate the dough completely. Then, add raisins into the dough and knead for a few minutes to distribute the raisins evenly.
- Braid the dough:
- Roll the dough into a log and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 1-inch thick.
- Place the 3 ropes side by side on a lightly floured surface and pinch them together at the top to seal.
- Braid the 3 strands together by alternating the right strand over the middle strand and the left strand over the middle strand.
- Continue the pattern, alternating between the right and left strands until it reaches the ends.
- Pinch the ends together to seal and tuck the ends under the loaf so it fits into a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Second rise: Lightly oil a 9x5-inch loaf pan and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic cling wrap and let it rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes depending on the room temperature.
- Add almonds: Brush the egg white evenly over the top and sprinkle with slivered almonds. The egg white creates shine and makes the almonds stick to the top.
- Bake: Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 30 minutes until the almond crust turns golden brown. Place the loaf pan onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before slicing, about 30 minutes.
How to Store Challah Bread
- Store: Store challah in a bread box or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Freeze: Freeze challah in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator or kitchen counter. If you want to thaw a few slices at a time, I would suggest slicing up the bread before freezing. This will make it easier to just grab one slice at a time.
- Reheat: To reheat refrigerator or frozen challah that has been thawed, place in the air fryer or oven at 300 F for 5-10 minutes. You can also cut into slices and toast in the toaster or toaster oven.
More Bread Recipes
- Easy Challah Bread
- Brioche Bread
- Fruit and Nut Sourdough Bread
- Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- No Knead French Baguettes
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Quick and Easy Pita Bread
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.