Deli-cious recipe

A shtickle dill pickle challah will tickle your tastebuds

This delicatessen-inspired Shabbat bread is a great standalone, but makes all the difference in a superlative cold-cut sandwich

Dill Pickle Challah (Shannon Sarna/via JTA)
Dill Pickle Challah (Shannon Sarna/via JTA)

The Nosher via JTA — Have you noticed that dill pickle-flavored dishes are everywhere lately? There’s dill pickle-brined chicken fingers and dill pickle bread from Happy Go Marni. And from The Kitchn was an entire roundup of ways to use leftover dill pickle brine.

Well, what is a gal like me to do? Create a dill pickle challah of course.

The dill pickleness of this recipe is subtle, and while it does use pickle juice in the dough, it’s the topping of garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh dill and sea salt that really shines.

By itself, it incorporates all the best elements of the classic old-world taste: salty, spicy, aromatic — it’s got all the bases covered.

But the savory challah is also the perfect vehicle for some sliced deli meats like corned beef, pastrami, turkey or even tongue, and lends a great finishing touch to a Shabbat afternoon deli sandwich.

Dill pickle challah recipe

For the dough:
3/4 cup leftover pickle juice, warmed to lukewarm temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon jarred, chopped garlic (fresh is fine too)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 eggs

Dill Pickle Challah (Shannon Sarna/via JTA)
Dill Pickle Challah (Shannon Sarna/via JTA)

For the top:
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk plus 1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon thick sea salt

In a small bowl place yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, lukewarm water and lukewarm pickle juice. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour and salt. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil, jarred garlic and dill. Mix thoroughly.

Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and 2 eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

Add another 1 cup of flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining 1 cup of flour into dough until it is firm and elastic. It should bounce back slightly when you poke it.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3 to 4 hours.

Remove dough from bowl and divide into two. Braid each section into desired shape challah. (Makes 2 medium-large challah loaves.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush braided loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with garlic, dill, red pepper, and sea salt.

Bake for 25 minutes or until just golden on top and challah feels light and hollow.

(Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher.)

The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at

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