A step up from the (also lovely) spiral challah, this challah shape looks complex but is easy to do: just make a three-strand braid, spiral it like a snail, and tuck the tail through the center. The result: a quick, beautiful braided round.
This post is part of my Complete Guide to Baking Challah.
Making the 3-strand braid
This braided round challah starts with your plain vanilla braid, the kind most often made in hair at sleepover. You make it by moving the outer right strand over the center strand, then the outer left over the center strand. See my post on braiding a 3-strand challah for a walkthrough photo.
For this round loaf, you'll want your braid to be a little longer than a regular 3-strand loaf of challah. To do this, make your strands a bit smaller in circumference and longer, about 16" / 40 cm long or as close as you can get them. After making the braid, gently tug on both ends at the same time to stretch out the braid a little more.
Knotting the braid
Start by rolling up your challah braid, leaving a bit of a hole in the middle and a tail hanging out. You then tuck the tail under the challah and through the center, poking out just a bit:
How long to bake a round challah
Because of its shape, a round challah needs to bake a bit longer than a regular loaf shape so that it's cooked in the center. Start checking for doneness about 5 minutes after the regular bake time. So, for example, I bake my standard challah for 35 minutes at 350F / 180C, and start checking this round version at 40 minutes.