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5775: Round, Ladder, And Those Gorgeous Challah Pomegranates

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now that we've had Rosh Hashanah, here are some pics of this year's experiments:

Honey cake in the star-shaped pan:
Honey Cake

Here, a traditional round challah for RH (not going to post recipe here because this year I used a honey challah recipe which looks good but didn't turn out as wonderfully as I would have liked. Still, really happy with the shapes).  Rather than braided, long challah, the round shape for Rosh Hashanah is used for a myriad of reasons, among them, round for the circle of life:

Round Challah

Round Challah

Ladder Challah (ascending to do good works):
Jacob's Ladder Challah

Pomegranate Challah -- this was inspired by the super-pretty image on Pinterest. There weren't step-by-step instructions, so following is how I did it. Also, I wanted the pomegranates to make a round crown shape (a reminder of G-d's kingship), which is also traditional for Rosh Hashanah.

Pomegranates are traditional for RH because they are a 'new fruit', and we have a story that there are 613 seeds inside a pomegranate and 613 are the number of the mitzvot in the Torah.

I took enough dough for one regular challah. I divided the dough into two separate amounts: eight balls, knowing that as they rose, they would come together to make the pomegranate bodies, and a smaller amount as eight smaller balls to go atop the balls to make the 'crown' on top of each fruit.  A bundt pan was perfect for this, to keep the round shape:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

To make the 'crown' of each pomegranate, after sticking the smaller ball atop the larger one snugly, I took a pair of kitchen scissors and cut halfway through that top dough one direction, then the other (to make something of a plus sign):
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

...then very gently with my fingers separated each of those points to as similarly as possible make the crown shape:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

I figured that pretty early on in the baking process, the crowns would brown earlier than everything else, and sure enough:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

So I cut pieces of aluminum foil to cover the crowns only:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

They were ready to come out of the oven after about 45 minutes, when I saw that the 'bodies' of the pomegranates were nice and brown:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

Yes! Ohmygosh I was so tickled that these turned out so well:
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

I think it's a new tradition for Rosh Hashanah!
Pomegranate - Shaped Challah

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