The Shabbat Table – Home for the Challah Days!

Challah (Monica Pinto for RISING)

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, and Happy Sukkot! Autumn is officially here, which means that Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s fun to celebrate Sukkot and the fall harvest with pumpkin-spiced everything!

Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson is the author of Rising: The Book of Challah (Feldheim Publishers). In her beautifully written and illustrated cookbook, she writes: “The chilly night air, combined with the al fresco dining of Sukkot, always inspires me to come up with new and creative menus. It is such fun to serve (and eat!) a creamy and fragrant hot soup with gorgeous caramelized squashes, some candied nuts perhaps, all while shivering happily in our sweaters.”

She continues: “So, naturally, when dreaming up the perfect Sukkot challah, I knew it would have to have all these elements. This challah really hit all the fall, harvest, and Sukkot notes. The creamy pumpkin, fragrant and flavourful colours the challah a gorgeous golden all the way through. The spiciness of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon give this challah some real zing, and the pumpkin seeds on top are the perfect finish.”

Harvest Pumpkin Challah with Cinnamon Maple Butter Spread (Monica Pinto for RISING)

Rochie elaborates further: “In the accompanying photo, I’ve braided it in a wreath, surrounding a spectacular maple cinnamon spread. I like that the wreath is still in the round shape of Rosh Hashanah, yet is made up of a more linear braid to bring us into the year. As it is our tradition to dip the challah into honey all the way through to the end of Sukkot, another option here would be to put a plate of honey in the centre of the wreath.”

Are you challenged with braiding and shaping techniques? No problem—you’ll find 37 ways to braid and shape challah in Rising! The comprehensive illustrations simplify how to shape various wreaths and braids, including a Four-Strand Wreath Challah, Challah Rolls, Filled Challah Techniques, a Floral Wreath, even a Challah Basket!

There are 75 gorgeous, full-colour photographs and 38 amazing challah recipes, including Rainbow Challah, Upside-Down Crême Bruléed French Toast, Hot & Salty Pretzel Challah, Fishy Challah, and Spinach Ricotta Challah.

Check out Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson’s Olive oil, Kalamata, & Rosemary Challah at Everyone will go nuts over Rochie’s new challah recipe for Maple Pecan Challah:

RISING: The Book of Challah by Rochie Pinson (Feldheim Publishers)

Rising: The Book of Challah is for beginners and experts alike. There’s nothing intimidating or complicated here—every recipe is meant to be used, cherished, and passed on to the next generation of challah bakers. For information on ordering, visit Rising is available worldwide, including Jerusalem, Europe, Australia and North America.

For more about Rochie Pinson and her book, and how to purchase it, click here:

Rochie Pinson’s Sukkot Harvest Pumpkin Challah is so appropriate for this Shabbat, especially since the Cinnamon-Maple Butter Spread is piped in the shape of stars, which will hopefully be shining down upon us as we eat in the Sukkah, weather permitting!



Half Recipe: This quantity of dough requires separation of challah, but without a blessing.

Yield: 1 large wreath challah and a few smaller rolls or challahs


1 1/2 cups very warm water

3/4 cup sugar

4 1/2 tsp granulated yeast

2 cups + 5–6 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour

1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

Dash ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 large eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 15-oz can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

Challah Glaze:

1 egg, well beaten with 1 tsp water

Challah Topping:

Cinnamon-sugar mix

Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. In a large bowl, pour the very warm water. Add the sugar and then the yeast. Allow a few minutes for the yeast to bloom.
  2. Add the first part of the flour, the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and pumpkin spice mix and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin purée and stir again until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the remaining flour, mixing with your hands or stand-mixer until the flour has fully incorporated into the dough. Be sure to add only as much flour as is needed to form a non-sticky workable dough.
  5. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched.
  6. Pour 3–4 teaspoons of oil into the bowl. Turn the ball of dough around in the oil until the outer layer of the dough has been thinly coated.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a warm, damp dishcloth and place in a warm spot to rise.
  8. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5–2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk. Punch out some air and allow to rise for an additional hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Braid or shape the dough as desired and place on lined baking sheets. Use most of the dough for the wreath, saving a small amount for extra rolls or small challahs.
  11. Brush the challah with the egg glaze after braiding.
  12. Allow the challahs to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  13. Glaze challahs again and sprinkle with toppings.
  14. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes (medium-sized challah; time will vary according to challah size). The challah is ready when its underside is brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.




Yield: Enough spread to fill a 12-ounce bowl

2 cups unsalted butter or margarine, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix with electric mixer until fluffy.
  3. Fill the bowl 2/3 way full with the spread.
  4. Put the rest of the spread into a cake decorating bag fitted with the star tip. Working from the center outwards, create stars, one at a time, working in a circular pattern until the entire surface of the bowl’s interior has been filled.
  5. Keep the spread refrigerated until ready to use so that it doesn’t melt and lose its shape.


Printed with permission from Rising: The Book of Challah, Copyright 2017 by Rochie Pinson, published by Feldheim Publishers.

Photographer: Monica Pinto