Why do we eat round challah for Rosh Hashanah? Answers abound. The year is round. We read the torah scroll in a cycle that repeats yearly. It looks like a king’s hat. We hope for a sweet new year as we dip this sweet challah in honey.
This year I decided to try a new style for my round, raisin studded, cinnamon sugar filled, challah. I used the same basic dough I use all year, adding a cup of raisins plumped in hot water. After the first rise I punched down the dough, divided it in four parts, rolled out loaf number one to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Then I generously sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar and rolled it up longways. Inspired by a babka recipe I read recently, I then cut through the log longways and twisted the two halves back together. Then I twisted the whole thing into a circle, put it on a parchment lined cookie sheet, brushed it with egg wash, and let it rise a second time. I baked the loaves at 350F with a second cookie sheet with some water on it immediately underneath (bread, parchment, cookie sheet 1, water, cookie sheet 2, oven rack). Two cookie sheets are essential to avoiding a scorched bottom. After the loaves baked for about 15 minutes I also covered the tops with foil to prevent the sugar on top from scorching.
Happy New Year.