Round Challah and Divine Desserts
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Round Challah and Divine Desserts

Round Challah and Divine Desserts

Everything you need to know to bake it right this Rosh Hashana.

by

Every Jewish holiday has its special foods and Rosh Hashana is no exception. The first thing that comes to mind when baking for the Yom Tov season is round challah that we consume during the High Holiday season all through Simchat Torah. The round challahs are sometimes sweeter than the rest of the year with added raisins and they're dipped in honey for their symbolism. Round symbolizes completeness. We want our year to be wholesome, round and sweet. Additionally the concept of a circle reminds us of God's infinity and omnipresence, as it has no beginning or end.

Round challahs also resemble a crown, symbolizing that we are crowning God as our king, which is the essence of the High Holiday season.

Braiding challah into a round shape can be an art. Inasmuch as there are many ways to achieve the round look, the following pictorial instructions can help simplify the task.

After experimenting with many methods these were found to show the best results.

Round Sweet Challah for Rosh Hashana

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 5 lbs. high gluten flour or regular flour
  • 2 oz. yeast or 3 ½ Tbs. dry yeast.
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 Tbs Kosher salt
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg for glazing
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for the topping (optional).

Directions:

Put all ingredients slowly into the mixer in the order given. Allow to mix for at least 12 minutes, until you get elastic and perfect dough. Should the dough be too dry add some water. Should it be too wet add more flour. Use your discretion to obtain the right consistency. Sprinkle with some flour so it does not stick to the bowl. Cover with a plastic bag (for faster rising) and then a dishtowel.

Allow dough to rise for 1 hour then punch it down, allow to rise another hour and punch it down again.

Cut the dough into desired amount of challos you want to obtain.

This is the simplest way of achieving a crown looking challah. Cut your dough in the preferred size and twirl it around into this shape, tucking in the end under the challah. Feel free to use illustrations below to braid the white challah.
 

Whole Wheat Round Challa

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups water
  • 3 lbs. whole wheat bread flour
  • 2 lbs whole wheat pastry flour
  • (You can also use 5 lbs. Shibolim whole wheat flour if available in your area, for excellent results)
  • 2 oz. yeast or 3 ½ Tbs. dry yeast.
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 Tbs Kosher salt
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 egg for glazing
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling on the challah.

Directions:

Put all ingredients slowly into the mixer in the order given. Allow to mix for at least 12 minutes, until you get elastic and perfect dough. Should the dough be too dry add some water. Should it be too wet add more flour. Use your discretion to obtain the right consistency. Sprinkle with some flour so it does not stick to the bowl. Cover with a plastic bag (for faster rising) and then a dishtowel.

Allow dough to rise for 1 hour then punch it down, allow to rise another hour and punch it down again.

Cut the dough into desired amount of challahs you want to obtain.

For a fancier and braided look cut each piece of dough into six pieces and roll them out into six strands. Shape the strands into tic tack toe shape then you will have three strands on each side. Braid each side and then tuck them under the challah. Allow to rise another 20 minutes.

For a beautifully glaze use only the egg yolk to “paint” your challah. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or leave as is.

This is what your challah will look like.


 

Shaping Small Individual Challah Rolls

Cut pieces of challah dough weighing no more than two ounces each. Roll out each into a long shape. Then place them crossed over each other.

From the two long pieces you can now obtain four pieces to work with

Once the challah is braided form it into a round shape

Here is the perfect result of the braided roll


Healthy Honey Cookies

These cookies are traditional for the Rosh Hashana season. These were made with spelt flour. They are very light and melt in your mouth.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups spelt flour
  • ½ lb Honey plus another little bit
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

Mix all ingredients well, Refrigerate overnight covered so it does not dry out. You can also work with it after one hour of refrigeration

Make balls with wet hands and put them into a cookie sheet.

Preheat oven and bake them for 12-15 minutes.

Delicious!

Preparation time 20 minutes

Yields 24 cookies
 

Best Apple Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 6 to 8 apples)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions:

Combine the first three ingredients; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Combine oil and orange juice and add alternately with dry ingredients to egg mixture. Beat until smooth; add vanilla and beat well.

Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Arrange half the apples over the batter. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle half over the apples. Top with remaining batter, apples and cinnamon/sugar.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 1 hour before removing from pan. Cool, apple side up, on a wire rack. Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves 12-16

Honey and Spice Chocolate Cake

A tender, moist and lightly spiced honey-chocolate cake that will definitely please the chocolate lover's at your Rosh Hashanah dinner. Makes a sweet and "oh so yummy" ending to your meal. This cake is sure to please even the most discerning palates.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey (preferably clover honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup seltzer or cola beverage (such as Coke or Pepsi)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
    Topping: (optional)
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Homemade chocolate sauce or store-bought ready-made chocolate syrup Confectioners' sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

Grease well a 10-inch tube, angel food or Bundt style cake pan. Set aside

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves and allspice. Set aside.

In bowl of electric stand mixer (or a hand mixer may be used with a large mixing bowl), combine honey, oil, and both sugars. Beat mixture on low to medium-low speed for 1 minute.
Add in the eggs, seltzer (or cola, if using) and vanilla and beat for 2 to 3 minutes on low speed.

Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed for another 2 minutes until batter is smooth and well combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed (you want to make sure all of the honey and other ingredients are well combined, not sticking to the bottom of mixing bowl).

With a wooden spoon, fold in chocolate chips and grated coconut (if using), then pour batter into prepared tube or Bundt pan and bake in preheated 350 degree F (180 C) oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean (without any moist crumbs).

Remove from oven and let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack and let cake cool completely. When cake has cooled, transfer to a serving plate or platter.
If desired, place several strawberries over top of cake, drizzle with chocolate sauce or ready-made store-bought chocolate syrup and dust cake with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

Preparation time 20 minutes

Serves 12-14
 

Apple Tarts

Ingredients:

  • 24 frozen mini pie crusts. Prebake for 5 minutes.
    Crumbs:
  • 1cup. + 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ cup oil
  • Mix together by hand to form crumbs.
    Filling:
  • 5 Cortland apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together.

Layer the apple filling in prebaked tart pan piling it higher towards the center. Pat crumbs on top.

Preheat oven to 450. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake for additional 15 minutes.

One can also use 1 - 9” frozen pie crust or 2- 6” frozen pie crusts

Prebake the crusts for 10 minutes at 350. Adjust baking time. Bake 350 about 45 minutes or until top is brown

Preparation 30 minutes

Serves 12-24
 

Baked Apples

This is a great dish anytime, because it is a great finish for a heavy meal and filling enough for anytime. Makes a nice dessert for company anytime.

Ingredients:

  • 4 McIntosh apples cored
  • 2 Tbs homemade granola
  • 3-4 raisins per apple
  • Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Bake apples with a little granola and raisins in the center, and a dash of cinnamon at 400 for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Preparation time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Wishing all our readers a Shanah Tova!

Published: August 28, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 14

(14) Anonymous, September 9, 2010 8:10 PM

Baking instructions?

The challahs looks lovely, but there are no baking instructions. At what temperature should they be baked, and for how long?

(13) kimberly rolle, September 7, 2010 2:46 AM

exciting recipes

I am happy for these recipes, and they are explained so simple, any one can understand. I will try at least 4 of them for Rosh Hashanna. Shana Tova!

(12) Anonymous, September 6, 2010 1:47 PM

To Sheila Deutsch

Sheila, 4 tablespoons does seem right to me. Please realize that the recipe requires 5 lbs of flour, which makes about 8 challos. In addition to adding flavor, the salt plays an important role in preventing the yeast from multiplying too much.

(11) Karyl, September 5, 2010 10:37 PM

Challah

What temperature do you cook the challah at and how long does it usually take? thanks.

(10) Anonymous, September 5, 2010 5:48 PM

I had to push my chair back from the keyboard to keep from drooling on it. Major yum!! :) May Gita, her staff, and everyone at Aish.com be written and sealed for a good and sweet year!!

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