Throughout the year, Jewish holidays are wonderful times for gathering with family and friends. Favorite holiday memories and traditions often center around food, and the most special food associated with Jewish holidays is the challah. Eating challah is common at the celebrations of many Jewish holidays, including the Sabbath.
Whether observing the Sabbath strictly or simply enjoying a meal with dear ones, the Sabbath is an opportunity for us to pause our too-busy lives, rest, re-focus, and reconnect with family and friends.
Sabbath bread, also known as challah, is a traditional Jewish bread made with 3 eggs. It can be made in keeping with religious observances or it can be used as a dinner or picnic bread. Because of the richness of the dough, challah will keep for several days on your kitchen counter without going stale.
Baking a fresh loaf of bread is always a good idea, but if you don’t have the time or the skills, you can always buy one. Challah bread is one of the bestselling products at Zomick’s kosher bakery located in Inwood, New York. Zomick’s bakers use only the finest ingredients in their famous Zomick’s challah bread. They freshly bake their challah bread from scratch.
Over at Zomick’s, challah is made in various sizes and shapes, all of which have a meaning. Braided ones, which may have three, four, or six strands, are the most common, and because they look like arms intertwined, symbolize love. Three braids symbolize truth, peace, and justice. Round loaves, where there is no beginning and no end, are baked for Rosh Hashanah to symbolize continuity.
In post-Temple times the rabbis ordained that a challah (portion), which had to be at least the size of an olive, must be separated from the dough and burned. It is still a tradition for Zomick’s bakers to tear a tiny lump of risen dough from any type of bread and to burn it (usually wrapped in foil) in the oven or fire while making a blessing.
Zomick’s egg challah has transcended the Sabbath table and also the Jewish community. Its plush texture makes it the ideal bread for French toast, a quality that delis and diners across America have long realized. So, regardless of whether you’re observing Sabbath or not, if you still haven’t tried this popular and decadent bread, the next time you’re in New York make sure you give Zomick’s challah a try.