Schlissel (Key) Challah

Written by Cook Kosher on Thursday, 04 April 2013. Posted in Food Mood

The first Shabbos after Pesach it is customary to bake 'schlissel challah' (schlissel is Yiddish for key). Some bake a key into the challah while others shape the challah in the form of a key. The key symbolizes the opening of gates of sustenance and livelihood. After leaving Egypt, in the desert the Jewish people ate from the manna until after Pesach upon entering the land at which point they ate from the produce of the land, and became dependent on their livelihood for the first time (now they had no manna). The key in the challah after Pesach symbolizes our request that G-d should open the gates of livelihood for us too.

Start by rolling up some foil for the middle key hole. I used 1/5 of a 5lb challah dough. Divide your dough into 2 pieces, one larger then the other. 

Divide the first part into three parts. 


Braid the dough into a 16 inch rope. You can make it a bit shorter and stretch it out. Form it into a circle. 

With the second part, again divide into three parts, form three long ropes and braid into an 18 inch braid. 

Place onto a lined baking pan. Forming the two parts into a key.

Wrap the foil roll with some baking paper (or grease it well). Place the roll into the key hole of the key to maintain its shape. 

Let rise for 30 minutes, covered. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

May this coming year be filled with success and happiness.

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Comments (2)

  • uptowngirl
    23 April 2012 at 21:30 |

    omg! THis was so easy to make and it was a huge hit, it came out looking so impressive.

  • MindySchaper
    25 April 2012 at 01:33 |

    Good hint with the shaping. Thanks.

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