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!
|Prep Time||15 min|
|Cook Time||35 min|
|Passive Time||1-2 hours|
- 1/3 Cup Hot Water
- 2/3 Cup Cold Water
- 5 TBSP Dry Yeast
- 1 TBSP Sugar
- 3 Cups Cold Water
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 2 TBSP Salt
- 3/4 Cup Oil
- 5 Eggs Beaten
- 5 LB Whole Wheat I prefer White Whole Wheat or a Whole Wheat blend,
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 1 TBSP Cold Water
- 2 TBSP Trader Joe's Everything Bagel Seasoning Optional
Egg Wash and Topping
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and allow to activate - about 5-10 minutes.
- Place water, sugar, oil, beaten eggs in a bowl and mix.
- Add yeast mixture and mix.
- Add a small amount of flour and place the salt on top of the flour - it is important the salt and yeast mix do not come into direct contact as the salt will counteract the yeast.
- Add the rest of the flour in 2/3 parts mixing in between.
- Mix until just incorporated and no flour shows. With white flour dough they typically need kneading to soften the dough. With whole wheat the more you knead the tougher it gets - so make sure to mix just until a nice dough forms.
- Set aside in a warm place and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to raise for 1-2 hours. Punching down once if needed.
- Remove from bowl and divide into 8 equal parts. Braid as desired.
- Place in individual baking tins. Set aside just for as long as it takes the oven to pre-heat to 350. With this recipe, I find if you allow it to raise too much in the pans the dough dries out.
- Mix Egg with water and beat - brush over Challos.
- Sprinkle Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.
In the month of Tishrei I love using some alternate Challa toppings. Check them out here.
Happy Baking and Enjoy!
Hi Shaindel, just wanted to let you know I tried your recipe on hoshana Rabbah and the challah was perfect!