That time of year has rolled around. With holidays week after week in the month of Tishrei (Sept/October – you can read about how the dates work here) LOTS of cooking happens. Each meal traditionally starts with a blessing on wine, followed by blessing on the special Challa bread. With each holiday requiring 4 meals – that’s a good lot of food and I always find myself making lots of Challa. With out fail each time I post pictures of my Challa I get asked – Can I have the recipe? Of Course! I love sharing recipes. I originally got this recipe from a cousin but I tweaked it slightly to make it in the Best Whole Wheat Challa!
They say you live and learn every day. Traditionally in the month of Tishrei instead of braiding the Challa, we shape it into a round shape. When I began writing this article I wanted hard facts and sources as to why we do round for the whole month and every single source I came across said the actual only time its traditional to shape round Challos is for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). The rest of the month there is no source or reason. I decided to delve into it further and ask some respected people. I posted in a couple groups and forums and the response I got across the board was “because its easier!” I mean I TOTALLY get this, the month of Tishrei finds us cooking A LOT of meals, and with each one starting with bread that a lot of baking – I’m all for shortcuts and making my life easier!
So – back to the reason for why we shape round Challos for Rosh Hashana? Rosh Hashanah is the day of G-d’s coronation, when He is crowned as King over us and the entire world. Thus, it is appropriate to make round Challos which resemble a crown.
There some other reasons tossed around such as – round resembling the world and Rosh Hashana was when the creation of the world was completed. Round is wholesomeness – no beginning and no end, as a symbol for a wholesome year, – though for none of these could I find an accurate source.
Now that we’ve covered all that lets get to the goods!
In the month of Tishrei I love using some alternate Challa toppings. Check them out here.
Happy Baking and Enjoy!