Smoked Fontina & Chive Challah Bread Recipe

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Who here does not love homemade bread?  I mean, come on, fresh warm bread from the oven!! There are not many things in the world that can compare.  This will be the first year in a while that I will not be making my cheese and chive Challah bread for Thanksgiving, so I want to remember years past by sharing this delightful recipe from Cooking Light.

Homemade Challah Bread Recipe


  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 large eggs (1 reserved for later)
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded smoked fontina cheese (or you can use Gruyère)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Fontina & Chive Challah Bread Recipe

Warm milk to 100-110 degrees.  I used my digital thermometer to make sure the temperature was just right.

Tips for making challah bread

In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.  The mixture should get nice and bubbly (as seen in the second pic).

Yeast for making bread

Add to this mixture your melted butter, salt, 5 egg yolks, and 3 eggs.  Stir.  Next add your fontina cheese and chives, stirring again to combine.

Homemade Challah Bread

Next, measure in 2 1/4 cups bread flour and 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour.  Stir until it becomes a sticky dough.

Cheese & Chive Challah Bread Recipe

Place dough on a lightly floured surface (I used by pastry sheet). Knead until smooth and elastic, while adding remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. This helps to prevent dough from sticking to your hands while you knead it out.

Making braided bread from scratch

Placed dough into a bowl coated with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (approximately 85 degrees and free from drafts) for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Making Challah Bread

Punch down dough; cover and let rise another 50 minutes or until doubled in size again. I ended up having to switch out bowls because my red bowl was too small to allow the dough to double again.

How to make Challah Bread

You can check if the dough has risen enough by gently pressing two fingers into it. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.

How to make challah bread from scratch

Divide dough into 6 equal portions.

Fontina & Chive Challah Bread

Roll each portion into a rope of about 15 inches in length.

How to make braided breads

Lay three ropes side by side.   Pinch one end together and braid ropes. Pinch the other end together, and tuck both ends under the loaf.

Making braided challah bread

Repeat with the remaining 3 ropes so that you have two loaves of bread dough.  Next, place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; coat each with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size as seen below.

Making Cheese & Chive Challah Bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water. Brush loaves with egg mixture and sprinkle evenly with grated Parmesan cheese.

Making braided bread

Homemade Yummy Challah Bread

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fontina & Chive Homemade Challah Bread Recipe

Remove from baking sheet, cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy!  Writing this makes me sad that it is probably not happening this year.  Maybe I can try to squeeze in some Wednesday night baking in time?  I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving, and thankful for this amazing Challah bread recipe!!

Yummy Cheese & Chive Challah Bread Recipe

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