Challah Bread Nutrition Facts

Challah bread

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

In This Article

Soft, fluffy, and a staple of Jewish cuisine, challah bread (also spelled hallah and pronounced hall-ah) is often consumed during special meals—from indulgent Sunday French toast brunches with friends to traditional Shabbat Friday night family dinners.

Usually braided with egg-washed, shiny crusts, challah is one of the sweeter Kosher breads, often containing no dairy or meat. As most American and European breads contain butter or milk, challah makes for an attractive carbohydrate choice among the lactose intolerant and anyone monitoring their dairy intake.

Challah Bread Nutrition Facts

One serving of branded challah bread using unbleached enriched wheat flour is 25 grams. The nutrition information below is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • Calories: 74
  • Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 116mg
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 0.35g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.26g

Carbs

The total carb count for challah is 13 grams, which amounts to four percent of the recommended daily value. The carbs come from the wheat flour, yeast, and honey.
Overall, for carb-heavy bread, challah does not offer the sizeable amount of carbs as what you will find in other European-style sweet, egg-based breads.

In addition, carbs are necessary for survival, as they provide energy for your nervous system, muscles and brain.

Fats

The total lipid fats in a serving of challah bread is two grams, or three percent of your recommended daily value. The total saturated fat amount in a serving is 0.26 grams, and you will not find any unhealthy trans fats.

Because challah uses honey, egg and a touch of sugar as a sweetener, you'll taste a semi-confectionery bread without the cups of white and brown sugar loaded into the dough.

Protein

Challah bread only contains two grams of protein. According to Harvard Health Publishing, you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To determine how much protein you need daily, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36.

A serving of challah bread won't suffice in meeting your needed daily protein values. Instead, you should add healthy protein products to your diet, such as nuts, salmon, spinach, Greek yogurt, and egg whites, which will help keep your connective tissues, muscles, hair, blood and enzymes strong and healthy.

Vitamins and Minerals

Challah bread offers trace amounts of the following:

  • Niacin to treat triglycerides and high cholesterol
  • Iron to help keep you from becoming anemic
  • Thiamin to convert food into energy
  • Mononitrate to prevent heart conditions
  • Riboflavin for normal cell growth and function
  • Folic acid to manufacture DNA

Health Benefits

Although carbs get a bad rap these days, you do need them for energy — and overall, challah bread doesn't contain an overabundance of carbs anyway. Plus, you'll find other health benefits to its ingredients, such as the following:

  • Reduces cardiovascular events from the extra virgin olive oil. In a large May 2014 investigation from BMC Medicine, researchers studied 7,216 men and women at high cardiovascular risk, aged 55 to 80 years, and found that a higher total olive oil consumption was associated with almost a 50 percent lessened risk of cardiovascular mortality.
  • Offers anti-aging properties from honey. In an April 2017 from Pharmacognosy Research, this natural sweetener acts as an antioxidant in controlling oxidative stress, which can lead to premature aging.
  • Protects against hypertension and kidney damage from sea salt. In a 2017 from Food & Nutrition Research, researchers found that consuming sea salt as opposed to refined salt can induce less hypertension.
  • Reduces anemia from the riboflavin. Also known as Vitamin B2, riboflavin "intake was positively associated with anemia at baseline," but consuming low riboflavin was associated with a higher risk of anemia, according to a February 2014 study from PLOS ONE that investigated the diets of 1,253 Chinese men and women who participated in two waves of the research five years apart.

Allergies

Anyone with allergies to the following should avoid consuming challah bread:

  • Eggs. According to a study in Pediatrics Clinic of North America, an egg allergy is the second most common food allergy in infants and young children. For those with newborns, you might want to slowly introduce challah bread into their diet to ensure they do not experience any adverse reactions from its egg content.
  • Wheat. Luckily for anyone with a wheat allergy, wheat is one of eight allergens with labeling requirements under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Under this law, U.S. manufacturers of food products that contain wheat, such as prepackaged challah bread, must include "wheat" on the ingredient label — keeping you safe for any ingredient surprises.
  • Yeast. According to the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research, allergists would advocate avoiding wheat flour if you have symptoms of a yeast allergy, which includes difficulty breathing, hives, cardiac issues and angiodema (swelling beneath the skin).

Varieties

You will find dozens of varieties of prepackaged challah breads, as well as recipes ranging from savory to spicy to sweet. Popular types include the following:

  • Classic challah. The simple dough is made with water, eggs, oil, water, enriched flour, yeast and salt. The color of the bread is usually a pale yellow for its egg content in the dough and the egg wash over the crust. Classic challah is also kosher (as its traditionally known for being a Jewish food eaten during Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah and Purim).
  • Whole wheat challah. Choosing to use whole wheat makes this bread a little healthier than the classic version.
  • No-knead challah. If you want to try making homemade challah, this version is easier than the classic version, especially for amateur bakers without a bread-baking background.
  • Pumpkin challah. You can experiment with more savory flavors and create challah varieties for special seasons, such as pumpkin for Thanksgiving and cinnamon for the holidays.
  • For those with savory palettes, you can add Indian spices for a unique flavor profile and fusion of cultures popular in modern-day cuisine.

When It’s Best

  • For prepackaged challah bread, you should read the label of its sell-by date, as bread can start to mold within seven days.
  • For those who want to freeze challah, you can keep the bread in an airtight freezer bag for up to two months. For help not forgetting the exact date you freeze it, write down the month and day on the bag.
  • To defrost, simply take the bread out of the freezer approximately five hours before you want to serve it and the challah should reach room temperature by then.

How to Prepare Challah Bread

  • You can simply open a packaged challah bread and tear off a slice. Because of the braiding technique and its fluffy texture, the bread is easy to tear with your fingers — no knife is required.
  • Because of its sweetness, many prefer to use challah when making French toast. You simply dip a slice into a raw egg, water and vanilla mixture and cook in on the stove top until it starts to brown.
  • For enthusiastic bread makers, you can create your own challah bread at home and work on perfecting your braiding technique or use a silicon mold for easy baking.
  • You can also tear off parts of the braids and pour vanilla sauce over it and serve it as a dessert.
  • If you are planning a family get together and want to prepare challah in advance, you can make the bread up to the braiding step placing it on the pan. Using a plastic wrap greased with butter, you can move it into the refrigerator to sit overnight.
  • If you want to simply make the dough and save it for later, you can freeze it for two months after the first rise.

Recipes

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  • Lee BH, Yang AR, Kim MY, McCurdy S, Boisvert WA. Natural sea salt consumption confers protection against hypertension and kidney damage in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. 2016. Food Nutr Res. 61(1):1264713. doi:10.1080/16546628.2017.1264713

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