Schlissel is the Yiddish word for key. Making a key shaped, or schlissel , challah the Shabbat following Pesach is an Chassidic tradition dating back as early as the eighteenth century. Challah baked in this shape signifies an increase in financial blessings.
Many still bake the challah with an actual key baked into the dough and many form the dough into the shape of a key. Some people do both and place a key into their key shaped challah.
THE BASIC SCHLISSEL
Roll three strands of challah dough. Lay one strand on a parchment lined baking sheet as is. Knot the second strand and place on the top of the first strand (for the top of the key). Cut the third strand into three and lay alongside first strand, as pictured above.
THE KNOT SCHLISSEL
Create 11 equal size challah rolls shaped into knots. Lay them as pictured above on a parchment lined tray.
THE BRAID SCHLISSEL
Create one medium sized 3-braid challah and one small sized 3-braid challah. Create a two braid strand and form into a circular shape (as pictured above). Attach the medium challah to the circular shape and place the edge of the smaller 3-braided challah (as pictured above).
JAMIE MAKING SCHLISSEL CHALLAH WITH HER KIDS
BASIC BRAID SHAPE