fig raspberry challah bread

Fig, Raspberry and Sea Salt Challah

  • Author: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 large loaf 1x



  • 2/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 cup fig jam or preserves
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on top of loaf


  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon honey into warm water. Let sit 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Add remaining honey, olive oil and 2 eggs; stir to combine. Add flour and salt and stir until a dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface 10 to 15 minutes until smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky OR knead dough in stand mixer with dough hook on low speed 7 to 8 minutes until smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 1 to 2 hours until doubled.
  4. Punch down risen dough. Divide into three equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough into a wide rectangle, about 8 by 15 inches. Spread half of the fig jam on top of dough. Roll up dough tightly from the long end into a log, pinching seam to seal. Carefully stretch dough so the log is about 15 inches long. Set aside.
  5. Repeat with remaining dough, filling one with the remaining fig jam and the other with the raspberry jam.
  6. Place the logs side by side. Take the left strand and cross it over the middle strand, then take the right strand and also cross it over the middle strand. Repeat, crossing the left over the middle strand, then the right over the middle strand until you reach the edge. Pinch and fold the edge under to seal the seams together. Repeat the process up the top half of the loaf.
  7. Transfer the loaf to a lightly floured parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Beat remaining egg in a small bowl, then brush top of loaf with egg wash. Lightly spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and set over dough. Let rise 1 hour until puffy but not doubled.
  8. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush dough one more time with egg wash, then sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until deep brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.