Friday, August 24, 2012

Rosh Hashanah Challah Shape | Pomegranate-Shaped Challah

Pssst! The Challah Blog's first giveaway, a dough whisk and bread flour from King Arthur Flour, is going on now! Have you entered! It's easy! Just leave a comment on the giveaway post!
It's no secret in our house that I love pomegranates.  I have a pomegranate-shaped necklace, and our ketubah has a pomegranate on the scroll.  Pomegranates are associated with Rosh Hashanah because many people eat them on the second night of the holiday as their traditional "new fruit."  Additionally, pomegranates supposedly contain 613 seeds, the same number as the mitzvot in the Torah. You can read more here.

I'm working on a Pomegranate flavored challah.  In the meantime, here's a how-to for a pomegranate-shaped challah, sure to bring some festivity to your Rosh Hashanah table.  Don't worry, it doesn't have 613 steps ;)

For this challah, you can use any dough you like.  I used about half of my Small Batch Challah, or the equivalent of about 1 1/2 cups flour dough.  This artists's gorgeous ring on Etsy inspired this challah shape.

Start with half of your dough. For nice smooth strands, roll with a rolling pin and coil. (You can actually do this with all of your challah strands, however I don't find it makes a big difference with most braids.)
pomegranate01 pomegranate02
With your palms, extend your strand out really long. Like, REALLY long. Several feet. This will form the "frame" of your pomegranate.
Place the long strand in an S-shape on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Divide the rest of your dough into small pieces, about the size of a golf-ball. Using a flat palm, roll each into a nice smooth ball and assemble your pomegranate "seeds."
pomegranate06 pomegranate07
Form the top of the pomegranate, making sure to pinch the tips of the top so they are nice and crisp.
Now, here's an important step: don't let this challah rise as long as you normally would. I usually let my challah rise for 30 minutes once braided. So this challah doesn't completely lose it's shape, limit the second rise to just 15 minutes. Pinch the tops of pomegranate again before egg-washing and baking (as normal, I do 25-30 minutes at 30).
I'm very pleased with this shape, and I definitely plan on using it at our Rosh Hashanah table. I have dreams of adding pomegranate seeds in between the dough "pomegranate seeds."
Now, about that giveaway. Shabbat Shalom from our bayit to yours!


  1. This is great! I can't wait to try it! Very unique. I love your website/blog. It's on my desktop all day! Good Shabbos!

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