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    Schlissel Challah

    The custom to bake schlissel challah for the first Shabbos after Pesach is a long-standing one. “The Shabbat after Pesach when we announce the coming of Iyar some…have the custom to make challah in the form of a key and to sprinkle it with sesame seeds. This is to remind us of the Mahn (manna) that fell in the desert and began falling in the month of Iyar; it also symbolizes that the ‘key’ to our parnassah is in Hashem’s hands. We pray that Hashem will open up his store of treasures and shower us with abundance.” Sesame seeds are used to depict mahn as they are small and white as it says about the mahn, “they were like small seeds, white, and [tasted] as if they were dipped in honey.” With the hopes that all our prayers for parnassah and all of Hashem’s blessings are bestowed upon us. Good Luck with the key challah.



    1 cup warm water

    1.5 Tbsp yeast

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/4 cup oil

    2 eggs

    1 tsp vanilla

    4 cups bread flour

    1/2 Tbsp salt



    Place the warm water in a measuring cup and add the yeast. Lightly stirred just to combine, leave the yeast for 1 minute then add 1/4 cup of sugar. While the yeast has a chance to rise for 5 minutes, whisk together . cup sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer. When the yeast had a nice thick foam, pour it in to the egg mixture and whisk together. Add the flour and salt and knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes. Place the dough in bowl prepared with cooking spray so it won’t stick and cover with a towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and let it rise for 1.5 hours. Punch down the risen dough! Just a few punches in the center and around the sides then back in the warm spot to rise for another hour. Take the dough out of the bowl and placed it on a surface prepared with cooking spray. Make the key shapes: Slice the dough in to sections with a sharp knife. First braid some dough and make the first key with three different braids. One with a straight traditional braid for the key neck. Next comes a long braid connected at both ends to create the key handle. Last is a little braid for the teeth. Then you can make a pull-apart key using rolls of challah. For that, just roll out long snakes of dough and make cute little knots. Stick them together to create the key shape. And last you can make the traditional braided challah with a key-shaped dough cut out on top. Brush the tops of the challah with egg, sprinkle some vanilla sugar over the tops and baked for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. The tops and bottoms are lightly golden brown when done.