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Sweet cinnamon raisin challah bread is airy, soft and fluffy with a beautiful golden crust coated with almonds. It is braided and baked in a loaf pan. |

Cinnamon Raisin Challah Bread

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Sweet cinnamon raisin challah bread is airy, soft and fluffy with a beautiful golden crust coated with almonds. It is braided and baked in a loaf pan.


  • 3 grams active dry yeast (1 teaspoon)
  • 120 grams water (1/2 cup)
  • 20 grams liquid honey (1 tablespoon)
  • 25 grams vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg, separated and divided
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 4 grams ground cinnamon (1/2 tablespoon)
  • 3 grams salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (for topping)


Prepare the Dough (first rise):

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shape the Dough (second rise):

  1. Punch down to deflate the dough completely. Then, add raisins into the dough and knead for a few minutes to distribute the raisins evenly.
  2. Roll the dough into a log and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 1-inch thick.
  3. Place the 3 ropes side by side on a lightly floured surface and pinch them together at the top to seal.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Bake the Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. 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.
  3. Bake 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: 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.

How to 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.

How to 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.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (+2 hours 15 minutes rest time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Jewish