• Leanne Maala - For Micah Siva

Za’atar Honey Challah

Za'atar Honey Challah, for when you need a little comfort!

There's no saying no to a drizzle of honey on your challah— it’s like a warm hug that you can eat. And we love a little bit of Za'atar sprinkled on everything, so this challah is definitely a winner.

This za’atar honey challah is one of my favorite kinds of challah. It has just the right touch of sweetness without being cloying, and a hint of the Middle Eastern spice blend za'atar, which adds richness and distinctive flavor to this challah. Not only is it flecked with the best Middle Eastern flavors, it's also quite easy to make.

It's sweet, soft on the inside, with just the right amount of crust. The savory-sweet-crunchy combo is one that I never get tired of. Honey and za’atar is an irresistible duo, after all. It’s the combo that makes me forget about everything else!

Scroll down below for the full Za'atar Honey Challah recipe!


Za'atar Honey Challah

Author: Micah Siva

Makes 2 large challahs


  • 1 package instant yeast

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 ¼  cup lukewarm water, divided

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

  • 1/3  cup olive oil

  • 3 tbsp za’atar

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 4 - 5 ½  cups all purpose flour

Egg wash

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 2 tbsp za’atar


  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and ½ cup water in a bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam or “bloom”. **if the yeast does not bloom, you may need to get fresher yeast**

  2. Add remaining water, egg, egg yolks, honey, oil and salt, mixing on low to combine. Replace the paddle for the dough hook.

  3. Add flour, one cup at a time, mix on low using the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  5. Punch down dough to remove any air bubbles, and transfer to a floured surface.

  6. Cut into 2 halves and each half into 3-6 pieces, depending on the braid. Roll each piece into a rope, approximately 12 inches long. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

  7. Make the egg wash: whisk together egg and water. Brush with egg wash, and top with more za’atar.

  8. Bake for 40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through and brushing with additional egg wash.

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