Scallion Pancake Challah

Savory deliciousness happens when you combine a popular Chinese snack with Jewish bread.


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 6 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup flavorless oil
  • 6 teaspoons any additional sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, honey, or molasses
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Toasted sesame seeds


  1. For the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, and remaining 6 teaspoons sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and additional sweetener.
  4. When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture, immediately followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine. Knead by hand on a floured surface or with the dough hook until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough, 7 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.
  5. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll each part into a 12-inch log. Gently flatten each log so that it's about 3 inches wide. Brush each with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.
  8. Roll the logs up lengthwise like a jelly roll and pinch the seams to seal. Lay the logs seam side down next to one another, and pinch them together at one end. Then braid the logs and pinch them at the other end. Place the loaf on a lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and black pepper. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 190°F. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy.