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Idan with his Vegan Zaatar Challah

Idan’s Vegan Zaatar Challah Recipe

  • Author: Idan Chabasov
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours rise + 30 mins bake
  • Total Time: 2 minute
  • Yield: 2 big loaves 1x



1kg (8 cups) flour 

100g (1/2 cup) sugar

12g (2 Tsp) salt

14g (2 Tbsp) dry yeast (32g fresh yeast)

100g (1/2 cup) oil

Up to 400ml (2 cups) lukewarm water

Olive oil for washing

Zaatar for topping


  1. Mix all the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a bowl. If using fresh yeast, activate it first in a small bowl with a bit of lukewarm water and 2 Tsp of the sugar from the recipe. 

  2. Add the oil. Use one hand to slowly start to pour water into the bowl. With the other hand, mix the mixture each time water is added. Mix slowly, paying attention to how the dough is coming together.

  3. Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, knead the dough with two hands. Continue to add water until the dough is smooth, elastic but not sticky. (The amount of water needed can vary slightly depending on the flour.)

  4. Transfer the dough to the work surface and continue to knead for next 10-15 min.

  5. The dough is ready to rise when it’s flexible, soft and can be stretched.

  6. Form the dough into a ball and leave it to rest in the bowl. Cover it gently with saran wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for around 1.5 hours, or until double in size. 

  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead/press it very shortly to take all the air out. The dough should be elastic and easy to play with.

  8. Your dough is ready for braiding. Divide into equal balls (around 120-220g each). Shape each ball into a strand – thick in the middle and thin at the edges gives a more puffy look. Braid the strands together to create your Challah loaf (see hints on @challahprince)

  9. Gently place your Challah dough on a baking tray to rest for 30min – one hour, until double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 °c.

  10. Bake the Challah for around 25-30 until golden brown all around. 

  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wash the Challah with one or more coats of olive oil for a shiny look. 

  12. Generously sprinkle Zaatar on top of your finished Challah – there’s no such thing as too much Zaatar!

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