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Alternative to egg wash for challah?

  • m

Hello everyone!

I'm baking challah today and was wondering if there are any alternatives to using an egg wash on the challah? I've used plain water in the past but it doesn't produce a shine. I thought about corn syrup but I haven't tried it. Anyone have any ideas that will produce a shine and still allow my sesame seeds to stick, minus the egg?


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  1. Is there a particular reason you don't want to use an eggwash?

    1. A scone recipe we use calls for milk wash but we're vegan so we use almond mylk. I've never made challah, but it might work for that, too.

      1. This is what you can use on bread. I don't see why it would work on Challah.
        1/4 cup water
        1 tsp cornstarch

        Boil until clear and brush on the dough.

        1. Either milk, soy milk, water or other suitable liquid mixed with a bit of corn starch and thickened into a very light syrup should hold your sesame seeds well enough. Melted butter will work too, but I think not as well.

              1. I imagine that one would not want milk or dairy for a challah, but I think your corn syrup idea is on the right track. I've occasionally done something similar to the traditional approach for bagels: a little honey dissolved in water for a slightly sweet glaze. (It doesn't keep the seeds on incredibly well, but it's ok) Also, unless you're specifically devoted to sesame seeds, tshernishke might stick better because it's not so flat and it kind of "digs in" a little if you lightly press it into the loaf before the second rise...

                3 Replies
                1. re: another_adam

                  Isn't challah full of dairy? i.e., butter...?

                  1. re: rabaja

                    There might be recipes for dairy challah, but for sure my family's recipe (and I imagine most) use oil so that it can served with meat meals. My family's recipe has a fair amount of oil, so it's quite rich, with a soft moist texture--but no dairy.

                    My mother does make a similar dough, but with milk and butter, and then it's called a "dairy dough" ("milk dough"), to be used a base for plum cake, butter cake, hamentashn, and so on. All of those do use variants of the same slightly sweet dairy yeast dough in our family.

                    1. re: rabaja

                      challah is made with oil and eggs, not butter.

                  2. It is oil, (otherwise it really would be broiche) but since it's an egg bread, why not use an egg wash? Gives mine a lovely color and the seeds stick.