Pumpkin Challah

A wonderful challah bread recipe for Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah!
Prep Time5 hours
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time5 hours 40 minutes
Course: Yeast Bread
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: Sandra Dumont


  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 3 tbsp. Molasses
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp. Yeast
  • 1 Egg + 6 Egg Yolks
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • Dash of Clove
  • 2 cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 cups White Flour
  • 7-8 cups Freshly Ground Spelt Flour


  • In a large glass mixing bowl, whisk together water, molasses, honey and yeast. Allow mixture to stand 5-10 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Add egg, egg yolks, olive oil, salt, spices, sugar and pumpkin until well blended.
  • Mix in the white flour, then begin to add 2 cups of spelt flour at a time. This is bread dough...you don’t want it to be too sticky or too dry.
  • Once the dough becomes too challenging to manage stirring, transfer it to a floured counter-top and knead it a few times, likely incorporating the last cup of flour.
  • Place the dough in a lightly olive-oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area. Allow the dough to rise 2-4 hours (or until doubled in size).
  • After the dough has rested, punch down and knead a couple times. Then divide into two equal parts. These will be your two challah loaves.
  • Take one dough part and divide it into three parts, rolling each piece into a snake. This is what you are going to braid into a challah loaf!
  • Using the three dough “snakes”, braid it, and tuck under the ends of the loaf.
  • Place the loaf diagonally on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the other loaf.
  • Baste each loaf with egg wash: beat 2 eggs and 1 tbsp. of water.
  • Place in the oven and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes (do not pre-heat oven). You’ll likely need to bake the two loaves separately.
  • Enjoy easy to pull apart, warm pumpkin challah with friends and family!