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Sweet Crumb Raisin Challah

It’s traditional to use round challah for Rosh Hashanah, to represent the cycle of life. It’s also customary to eat sweet foods at this time, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year ahead, hence the raisins and sweet crumb topping.

Dough Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. dry yeast
  • 5 cups very warm water
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup oil (canola or light olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • Approximately 18 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg

For the crumb topping

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 tbsp. oil


  1. In a very large bowl, dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water and let sit about 15–20 minutes until slightly frothy.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and half the flour. Mix until a loose batter forms. Add the rest of the flour a couple of cups at a time, until the dough is soft but not sticky.
  3. Cover the dough with a wet towel or plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for about 1½ hours. Dough should double in size.
  4. When the dough has risen, punch it down and let it rest for 10 minutes before doing the mitzvah of separating challah. Say the blessing, separate a small piece of dough, and set it aside to burn after the challah has finished baking. For more about this mitzvah, and a step-by-step guide, watch this quick do-it-yourself clip.
  5. Divide into 6 equal pieces.
  6. Roll the first piece into a long rope. Press raisins into the dough and roll inwards from one end, until you have a circle, and tuck the end underneath. Repeat until you have formed all six loaves. Place loaves on lightly greased cookie sheets and let rise for another 40 minutes.
  7. Make the sweet crumb topping by putting the flour and sugar into a bowl. Slowly add the vanilla and oil, mixing with a spoon, or your fingertips until you it reaches crumb consistency.
  8. Egg wash the loaves and sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake at 375°F for approximately 45 minutes. Loaves should be golden brown and firm on the bottom.

Yields: 6 challahs

Traditional Tzimmes

Why do we eat tzimmes on Rosh Hashanah? We try to eat sweet foods to symbolize our wish for a good, sweet year ahead. It is also customary to eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity, and the Yiddish word for carrot, meren, also means to multiply.


  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut in half or quarter rounds
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 lb. carrots, sliced in ½-inch rounds
  • ½ lb. sweet potato, cubed
  • 10 prunes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups orange juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 2 hours, until vegetables are tender. Serve warm.

Yields: 10-15 servings (as a side dish)


Somehow, brisket has become a Rosh Hashanah tradition in many households. In this recipe, the long, slow cook yields a soft, tender meat and the onions become sweet and flavor-packed.


  • 3 lb. first-cut brisket
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. dried chives
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey


  1. Slice the onions in rounds. Place them in the bottom of a baking dish.
  2. Combine the paprika, garlic powder, chives and salt in a small bowl. Cover the brisket on both sides with the spice mixture. Pat it in gently until the meat can hold no more.
  3. Place the meat on top of the onions and put it into the oven on 400°F for 1 hour.
  4. Take the meat out, add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cover the baking dish tightly. Lower the temperature to 250°F and cook for another 4-5 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Turn the meat everu 90 minutes, so both sides can absorb the liquid.
  5. Refrigerate the meat until completely cold (preferably overnight), then cut in thin slices against the grain. Return the sliced meat to the sauce. Reheat in the oven, or over a low flame. Serve with the onions and sauce.

Yields: Approximately 40 thin slices.

Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

It’s customary to eat pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing our wish to have a year full of good deeds, as a pomegranate is filled with luscious seeds. In this dessert, the tart pomegranate syrup and fresh seeds provide the perfect contrast to the sweet chocolate and shortbread crust.


  • 1 cup margarine, melted
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  1. Use an 8”x11” tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Mix the melted margarine with the sugar. Add vanilla, salt and flour and mix until it reaches cookie dough consistency (mixture will be quite greasy).
  4. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the tart tin. Prick the dough with a fork and bake on 350°F for 30 minutes. Crust should be golden in color.


  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 8 oz. good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add the chopped dark chocolate and let it sit over a very low flame until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Stir gently until chocolate is fully melted and mixture combines evenly. Add the sugar and stir.
  3. Pour the ganache into the baked tart crust. Refrigerate until chocolate is completely set.

Pomegranate Syrup and Garnish:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced by half and syrupy.
  2. Pour mixture over the chocolate and top with the pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate until the syrup is set. Then cover and refrigerate until serving.

Yields: 20 servings

When republishing please cite the author (Miriam Szokovski) as well as Photos available for download below.

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About Miriam Szokovski

Miriam Szokovski is the Australian-born editor of, the food site of the largest Jewish information website. Miriam, an author and food writer, has been providing quality Kosher cooking recipes and essays to various audiences for years. She recently launched a blog, Cook It Kosher, on

Contact Information

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