> Holidays > Shavuot > Recipes

Creative Challah Shapes

May 6, 2012 | by Carol Ungar

Mount Sinai-shaped challah and more.

At holiday time it's traditional to fashion specially-shaped challahs. Here are three neat ideas from

Before we get to our gallery of challah shapes for Shavuot, let's start with a main course.

Sauteed Salmon

Sauteed SalmonOn Shavuot, it is customary to eat fish fried in butter (Shavous Secrets, by Rabbi D. Meisels). This is an easy and elegant way to do it.


  • 4 salmon fillets or steaks
  • 1/3 cup of seasoned flour (add salt, pepper and fish spice to taste)
  • 2 T butter

Melt butter. Flour the fillets. Brown fish on one side and then turn with spatula. Continue cooking until fish flakes easily with a fork Serve with lemon slices and parsley sprigs.

Can freeze but its best fresh.

Heavenly Ladder Challah

Heavenly Ladder ChallahHere’s a seven-rung ladder challah to denote the seven heavenly spheres that opened when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai.

Use any challah recipe you like. See here for some good challah recipes.

With a rolling pin and knife, shape dough into an oval. Roll seven strips of flour and lay them across the dough for the rungs. Roll two long strips along the sides of the oval to hold the rungs in place. Glaze with egg yolk.

Torah Study Challah

Torah Study ChallahThis loaf's four protruding handles symbolize the four levels of Torah study: pshat (simple text), remez (hint), drash (interpretation) and sod (mystical secret). How's that for a conversation starter!

Use your favorite challah recipe. For Shavuot sweeten with honey, because the Torah is compared to honey. Roll out a piece of dough and cut it into a rectangle. Roll the four small dough shafts and attach them to the corners for the "handles." Glaze with egg yolk and bake

Mount Sinai Challah

Mount Sinai ChallahI know this takes imagination, but this challah represents Mount Sinai in dough.

Use any challah recipe. Fashion dough into a sphere. Roll two long dough ropes, intertwine them and wrap them around the dough circle. Wrap them around the sphere and then the inside, to create a mountain ridge. Glaze with egg yolks before baking.

Don't fixate on making these shapes perfectly. This is about having fun. Enjoy!

(info from "Shavous Secrets" by Rabbi D. Meisels)


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