Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A loaf of yeast-leavened egg bread, usually braided, traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath, holidays, and other ceremonial occasions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A traditional braided bread eaten by Ashkenazi Jews on the Sabbath

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Judaism) a loaf of white bread containing eggs and leavened with yeast; often formed into braided loaves and glazed with eggs before baking

Etymologies

Hebrew ḥallâ; see ḫll in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Yiddish חלה, from Hebrew חַלָּה. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Today the word challah is used to refer to the whole loaf.

    Pamela Dodson: Holiday Breads: an Old Tradition

  • Note: Separating the challah is a special mitzvah for women done when the bread dough quantity is above a certain amount, as in the above recipe.

    RECIPES FROM GINNY BATES

  • The word challah—pronounced with a soft h as in ha-la—means dough and refers specifically to the bread remaining after the small piece was separated from it.

    Celebration Breads

  • I love challah and the idea of sweet vanilla challah is making my mouth water.

    BBD #10: Breakfast Breads: Beth Hensperger’s Sweet Vanilla Challah

  • I brought a raisin challah and a dozen cinnamon rolls that I'd baked that morning.

    Patzcuaro Day of the Dead Market

  • Myra retrieved a loaf of Ginny's challah from the freezer in the storage room and defrosted it quickly in the microwave.

    MORE FROM GINNY BATES: ALLIE AND MARGIE

  • You are blessed, Lord our G*d, Sovereign of the world, Who made us holy with Her commandments and commanded us to separate challah from the dough.

    RECIPES FROM GINNY BATES

  • Everyone sang a hymn of thanks to God while touching the braided bread known as challah, tapping each other on the arm or shoulder before feasting on the bread and traditional three-corner Hamantaschen cookies.

    Inside Bay Area Most Viewed

  • Instead I made a pretty terrific baked challah bread pudding (made with homemade challah, my challah was a little dry but beautiful, but hey, it was my first time baking bread!).

    Law and Letters

  • The producers are so nervous about guarding their new secrets, they've given the very last scene a code name -- "challah," as in the Jewish bread that's full of twists.

    Island Fever

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Comments

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  • According to Jewish tradition, challah commemorates the mannah upon which the Hebrews existed during their journey through the desert. As mannah did not fall on Shabbat, a double portion fell on Friday - this being the origin of the two loaves that form the centrepiece of the Shabbat meal eaten on a Friday evening.

    It's also known as khale in Eastern Yiddish and as chałka in Polish.

    December 28, 2010

  • Braiding these is fun.

    October 11, 2009