"Seeduction" Challah

Recipe by Molly Yeh

This delightfully soft loaf, from blogger Molly Yeh and her book, Molly on the Range, is guaranteed to make you swoon. Slightly sweet, packed full of seeds and other flavorful crunchy bits, it more than lives up to its sultry title. You can shape it into a classic braid; or into a coiled round, which is the traditional shape for Rosh Hashanah.

37 mins
28 to 38 mins
4 hrs 20 mins
2 large or 4 medium loaves
"Seeduction" Challah


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

  2. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, millet, and the pumpkin, sunflower, flax, poppy, and sesame seeds.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and molasses.

  4. When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes, until you have a nice smooth dough, adding more flour as necessary.

  5. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let it sit at room temperature until doubled in size, 2 to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and then let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping.

  6. For traditional braided loaves: Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Divide the dough in half, and on a clean work surface pat the dough out into a long rectangle, about 3" x 12". Cut the rectangle into three long rectangles and then roll them out a bit to get three long logs. Pinch them together at one end and then braid the logs, pinching together at the other end to form a loaf.

  7. Transfer the loaf to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Place the loaves at least 3" apart. Let them rise at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.

  8. To make a swirl: Line two baking sheets with parchment. Divide the dough in quarters and roll each into a skinny log about 18" long. Coil each log up like a snail.

  9. Place two coils at least 4" apart on each baking sheet and let them rise at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes.

  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  11. Brush a light coating of egg wash all over the tops of the loaves and sprinkle with additional seeds as desired. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190°F. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before slicing.

  12. Store any leftovers at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days. Freeze for longer storage.