The easiest way of all to shape a challah, the spiral is also beautiful, striking, and festive. The trick to having it bake evenly is to press down slightly on the top of the spiral after rolling it up.
This post is part of my Complete Guide to Challah.
It's traditional to shape challahs into round configurations around Rosh haShanah due to the symbolism of circularity and endlessness. A spiral shape is the easiest way to accomplish this, but it's also simply beautiful just in and of itself. I always make sure to make some spiral challahs around the holidays.
To make the spiral challah, start out by rolling the dough for the entire challah into one long, relatively thick strand:
Then, beginning with one end, which will become the center, roll up the big strand like a snail, tucking the end firmly under:
A small tip: once the spiral is shaped, press gently down on the center to flatten the loaf a bit.
Brush with egg wash and you're read to bake. You'll want to add 5-10 minutes to the baking time for your challah recipe for the bread to cook through in the thick center.
Need some challah recipes for Rosh haShanah?
- The challah pictured above is my Whole Wheat Harvest Challah with Cranberries and Pecans.
- If you're looking for classic, here's my Round Raisin Challah for Rosh haShanah.
- ...But my personal favorite is the Currant Challah with Salted Honey Crust.