is a traditional Jewish bread eaten on
Shabbat and Jewish holidays (except
bread is not allowed). This
association with Judaism is most prevalent
in the United States, as
is also a traditional bread in numerous
European countries, such as Hungary, among
local non-Jewish peasant populations.
Challah Recipes -
Challah and Bread Baking -
How to braid Challah
On Shabbat every Jew is commanded to eat
three meals (one on Friday night and two on
Saturday). In Judaism, a "meal" includes
bread. Hence, Jews will traditionally eat
challah at the beginning of their Shabbat
meal. As with any other type of bread, the
blessing "Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu
melech ha'olam, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz"
is recited before the challah is eaten.
Translated, it means "Blessed are you, Lord,
our God, king of the universe, who brings
forth bread from the earth."
The dough is made with an especially large
number of eggs, and sweetened with honey.
The dough is traditionally cut into three
rope-shaped pieces and then braided together
before baking. An egg wash is applied to the
dough to give a golden color after being
baked. Poppy or sesame seeds are sprinkled
on the bread before baking; the seeds
represent manna that God gave to the
Israelites to eat while they wandered in the
the Jewish new year, raisins are added to
the dough and the Challah is braided into a
special crown shape, representing God's
The name refers to a small piece of dough
which is reserved and baked separately. This
is done in commemoration of when the temple
stood in Israel. Originally, during temple
times, the dough was given to a Cohen
(priest). Since the destruction, the dough
is burned and thrown away after a special
prayer is said.