Challah Rolls

These knotted mini challah rolls can be sprinkled with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or nothing at all—they are delicious every which way!

Basketful of Challah Rolls Next to One Cut in Half and Smeared with Butter

Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

Growing up, my grandmother made us mini challah rolls, perfect for sandwiches, dipping into soups, and mopping up sauces. They were always a crowd favorite at family dinners—we loved choosing among plain, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds toppings. They are now a staple in my own home. I keep a bag of baked challah rolls in the freezer, perfect for having the taste of homemade bread any day of the week.

This isn’t your average dinner roll! It starts with a classic challah dough, but it's shaped into small knotted rolls. Though making challah dough can feel like a daunting task, with a little bit of planning, it’s easier than you think.

Challah Rolls on a Tray with Some Cut in Half and Smeared with Butter

Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

Knead to Know

Proofing yeast is a key part of bread making, and getting a beautifully risen  roll. When the yeast doesn’t properly activate, you'll get dense and flat pucks. Not only does yeast help the bread rise, thanks to the release of carbon dioxide, it also gives it an incredible aroma and flavor.  

The first thing to do when making bread is to test your yeast by mixing it with lukewarm water and something sweet, like sugar or honey, what I use here. Give it approximately 5 minutes to bloom. If your mixture becomes frothy and bubbly, your yeast is good to go! If not, you may need fresher yeast. Be sure to check the best before date on the package. 

It's Normal For the Dough To Be Wet

This dough will be vert sticky, yet smooth and elastic. It may feel a little too wet, but don’t add more flour. After its first rise, it’ll become easier to work with. Still too sticky? Sprinkle a little bit of flour onto your counter—start with about 1 tablespoon. You don't want to add too much flour to the dough.

Basketful of Challah Rolls

Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

Be Patient While the Dough Proofs 

The secret to great challah is a warm place to proof your dough and a little patience. Proofing is an important step you should not skip. I place the bowl of dough right next to my oven or on the back burner of the stove top while the oven preheats. For the first rise, let the dough proof until doubled in size and then again for a shorter time after you shape them into rolls.

Two Ways to Freeze Challah Rolls

If you want to plan ahead, there are two ways to freeze the challah rolls:

Freeze unbaked rolls: After you shape the rolls, but before you do the second rise, pop the unbaked rolls in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, transfer them into a large zip top freezer bag for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake them, place the frozen rolls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge. Then, take them out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature and rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Give them an egg wash and bake!

Freeze baked rolls: Bake the challah rolls and cool them fully. Transfer them into a zip top freezer bag and freeze them for up to 2 months. Defrost them at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before enjoying! 

Challah Roll Cut in Half and Smeared with Butter

Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

Roll With It

Challah Rolls

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 24 mins
Rise Time 110 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 29 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 12 rolls


For the dough

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 3/4 cups (450g) bread flour, plus more for shaping 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg, whisked

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds or poppy seeds


  1. Proof the yeast:

    Stir the warm water, yeast, and honey in a bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should be fragrant and appear foamy—this means the yeast is active. If it does not, you will need to start over with fresher yeast.

    Yeast and Warm Water in a Mixer Bowl for Challah Rolls

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

  2. Make the dough:

    Add the eggs and 3 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture. Mix with a fork to combine. Add the flour and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough gathers around the dough hook and no longer stick to the bowl. It will be a little tacky and sticky, resist the urge to add more flour!

    Dough in Mixer Bowl for Challah Rolls Recipe

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

  3. Proof the dough:

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let proof for an hour to an hour 30 minutes, until doubled in size. 

    While the dough is proofing, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

    Dough Resting in Mixer Bowl Covered with Plastic Wrap for Mini Challah Rolls Recipe

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

  4. Shape the dough:

    Lightly flour a clean work surface. Scrape the dough onto it and use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. I use a kitchen scale to ensure they are all the same size, but feel free to estimate.

    While shaping, keep the dough under a clean kitchen towel until ready to shape. Use both hands to roll a piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Start on one end and coil it into a spiral, tucking the end underneath and pinching to seal. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes. 

    Challah Roll Dough Measured on Scale and Divided into 12 Pieces

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

    Dough Pieces Rolled into 12 Inch Ropes and Coiling Them to Make Rolls

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

    Challah Rolls Resting Under Clean Kitchen Towel in a Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Make the egg wash:

    In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water. Using a pastry brush, paint the egg wash on each roll. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if using. 

    Challah Rolls on Baking Sheet Next to Three Bowls (One with an Egg Wash, Another with Sesame Seeds, and the Last with a Spice Blend)

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

    Challah Rolls on Baking Sheet with Egg Wash and Toppings

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

  7. Bake the rolls:

    Bake the rolls for 18 to 24 minutes, turning the baking sheet once halfway through. Bake until golden brown. If using a thermometer to check for doneness, it should read 190°F to 195°F.

    Let cool before serving. 

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below! 

    Basketful of Challah Rolls

    Simply Recipe / Micah Siva

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
207 Calories
5g Fat
33g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 64mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.