Hojicha Challah Braided Bread

Hojicha Challah Braided Bread

This Hojicha Challah Braided Bread is soft and sweet with an eye-catching twist. In addition to preparing the usual plain dough, Hojicha Powder is used to create a hojicha dough with a rich flavor and deep chocolate hue.

When the two doughs are braided together, the contrasting colors create a visually stunning exterior and unique patterns on every slice. The pillowly loaf is sweetened with a generous amount of maple syrup, which also makes for its shiny glaze.

If you’ve baked this Hojicha Challah Braided Bread, tag us at @hojicha.co and let us know how you enjoyed it!


Hojicha Dough

  • 100 ml lukewarm water
  • 2.5 g active dry yeast
  • 180 g all purpose flour
  • 20 g Hojicha Powder
  • 75 g maple syrup
  • 2.25 g Himalayan pink salt
  • 30 ml sunflower oil, plus more for greasing
  • Optional: 15 g raisins, soaked

Plain Dough

  • 100 ml lukewarm water
  • 2.5 g active dry yeast
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 45 g maple syrup
  • 2.25 g Himalayan pink salt
  • 20 ml sunflower oil, plus more for greasing
  • Optional: 15 g raisins, soaked

Maple Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • Optional: sesame seeds


  1. Prepare the hojicha hough by setting out all of the ingredients and measuring them.
  2. Add 100 ml of lukewarm water into a large bowl, and sprinkle 2.5 g of active dry yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Optional: In the meantime, soak 15 g raisins in a small bowl of water.
  4. Gradually add 180 g of all purpose flour to the large bowl with the dissolved yeast in three batches. Add the first batch of flour with 20 g of Hojicha Powder and 75 g of maple syrup. Mix well. Add the second batch of flour with 2.25 g of Himalayan pink salt and 30 ml of sunflower oil. Mix well. Add the last batch of flour slowly, using a spoon then your hands to incorporate just enough until a soft dough forms.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly oiled clean surface.
  6. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by folding it onto itself, rotating it by 90°, and repeating. The dough should be slightly sticky. If it's too difficult to handle, rub a little sunflower oil on your hands or try resting the dough for a couple of minutes. Try to avoid adding too much flour, and only use if absolutely necessary.
  7. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Optional: drain the raisins well, and knead them into the dough.
  9. Form a smooth ball of dough, and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
  10. Prepare the plain dough by repeating the steps above, adjusting for the different measurements of water, flour, maple syrup, and oil.
  11. When the plain dough ball is also ready and covered, transfer both bowls to a warm spot until each dough doubles in size (about 1.5 - 2 hours).
  12. Check if the dough is done its first rise by poking the dough. If the indentation fills up, then the dough needs longer. If the indentation remains, then the dough is ready to be shaped.
  13. Shape the Hojicha Challah Braided Bread by gently punching down the hojicha dough, dividing it into two equal parts, and forming two equal ropes (about 15 inches long) on a lightly oiled surface. Repeat with the plain dough. If the dough shrinks back, let rest covered for 15 minutes.
  14. Place the two hojicha strands vertically, and place the plain dough strands horizontally to create a pound or hashtag symbol.
  15. Weave the strands together. Place the top plain strand below the right hojicha strand and above the left hojicha strand. Place the lower plain strand above the right hojicha strand and below the left hojicha strand.
  16. Starting with the top pair of hojicha strands, take the left hojicha strand that is under the plain dough and cross it over the right hojicha strand. Repeat this for each set, going clockwise until you're back to the top.
  17. Once you reach the top, and repeat the same process going counterclockwise. Take the top right strand (that should be under) and cross it over the left top strand. Repeat this process until you've run out of dough.
  18. Bring the ends of each strand above the middle of the braided dough and pinch them together.
  19. Gently flip the shaped dough onto a silicone baking mat, cover, and let rise in a warm space until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  20. Prepare to bake the Hojicha Challah Braided Bread by preheating the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
  21. Check if the dough is ready to be baked by lightly pressing the side. If the indentation springs back quickly, the dough needs longer. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready to be baked.
  22. Prepare the maple glaze by mixing together 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon water.
  23. Gently brush the maple syrup glaze on the shaped dough with a pastry brush.
  24. Optional: sprinkle sesame seeds onto the glazed dough.
  25. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes 375 °F (190 °C) until deeply golden brown and firm.
  26. Fully cool the baked bread on a wire rack.
  27. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or slice and freeze.
  28. Serve warm slices of Hojicha Challah Braided Bread with butter or jam.

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