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Onion Challah Rolls

Try this onion challah rolls recipe for the ideal vessel for serving pulled brisket sandwiches, piled-high pastrami, mozzarella, tomato, and Sloppy Joes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: bread, challah, sandwich
Calories: 3529kcal
Author: Shannon Sarna



  • 1 ½ tablespoons dry active yeast
  • ½ cup sugar + ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
  • 5 cups unbleached bread flour + more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon jarred minced garlic in oil
  • 2 eggs


  • 2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1–2 tablespoons minced dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt


  • For the dough: In a small bowl place the yeast, ½ teaspoon sugar, and lukewarm water. Stir gently to mix. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes foamy on top.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 ½ cups of the flour, ½ cup sugar, onion powder, and salt. Add the water-​yeast mixture, oil, and garlic to the flour. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add another 1 ½ cups of the flour and 2 eggs and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time and let the mixer run until the dough is smooth and sticks just slightly. If not using a mixer, use a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together, and then dump out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough using the heel of your hand until dough is lump-​free. Depending on humidity, time of year, and the flour you use, you may need slightly more or less flour. You can add 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise 3 hours.
  • Remove dough from the bowl, punch down, and cut into 10 to 12 equal pieces, 3 to 3.5 ounces each (use a food scale for an exact measurement). Roll each section in a rope and shape into a knotted roll. See pages 40–41 for shaping. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Allow challah rolls to rise another 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F while the dough rises.
  • For the topping: Beat 2 egg yolks with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, glaze the challah with two coatings of egg wash. Sprinkle with dried onion flakes and sea salt.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until just golden on top and challah feels light and hollow. Cool on a wire baking rack.