Small Challah Buns

Small Challah Buns

Replace your go-to breakfast rolls with these individual buns, a challah twist on the traditional French raisin brioche, or pain aux raisins. Look to this step-by-step guide for rolling your small challah buns. 

3.0 from 2 reviews
Small Challah Buns
Makes about 10
  • ½ recipe Challah Dough (recipe follows)
  • Vanilla Bean, Raisin, and Thyme Filling (recipes follow)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll first piece into a 6x2½-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with Vanilla Bean, Raisin, and Thyme Filling. Starting at one long side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style, and press edge to seal. Roll dough into a rope about 14 inches long. Cut rope in half crosswise; cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place the four strands in a hashtag pattern (over, under, over, under) with cut sides facing up. Take one piece, and cross it over an adjacent piece. Cross the next strand over an adjacent piece in the opposite direction. Repeat until all dough has been used. Tuck ends under, and place on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling. Brush with egg wash, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Brush buns with egg wash, and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes before serving.
Make the Small Challah Buns with Chocolate-Hazelnut Orange Filling. In step 2, spread chocolate-hazelnut spread onto dough, and sprinkle with orange zest.

Or, don’t use any filling, and simply sprinkle with poppy seeds after brushing with egg wash in step 4.

3.0 from 2 reviews
Challah Dough
Makes 2 large braids, 2 large round loaves, 20 small buns, or 24 doughnuts
  • 1¾ cups warm water (105° to 110°)
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (100 grams) olive oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup (144 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (36 grams) kosher salt
  • 7½ to 8 cups (1,050 to 1,120 grams) all-purpose flour
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine 1¾ cups warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in honey and salt. Gradually add flour, ½ cup (70 grams) at a time, until dough begins to pull away from sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

3.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Bean, Raisin, and Thyme Filling
Makes about 1 cup
  • 1 cup (128 grams) raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Discard thyme and vanilla bean pod; strain mixture to remove excess liquid. Let cool to room temperature before using.


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  1. In the Small Challah Buns recipes, it stated “Vanilla Bean, Raisin, and Thyme Filling (recipes follow),” but there was no recipe included. I would like to attempt this recipe, and would be able to use the filling suggested. Could this be made available? I do appreciate the step-by-step visual guide.

  2. good beginner bread recipe. I used the challah base to make 10 small buns, 1 small braided loaf, and 14 donuts. I did my own fillings for the buns, but was pretty happy with how the base challah recipe was. It does help to oil your rolling pin a bit for the buns to help reduce sticking to wooden rollers. I will certainly be using this recipe again. 🙂


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