People tend to get cultish about challah. Ask a group of friends where to find the best ritual Sabbath bread, like I recently did on Facebook, and within minutes a torrent of impassioned odes to various bakeries will flow forth.

The success of these bakeries — like The Challah Fairy and Silver Moon Bakery in New York; Four Worlds Bakery in Philadelphia; Cheryl Ann’s in Brookline, Mass., and Ricki’s in Memphis, Tenn. — lies in their ability to craft superlative versions of the puffed, egg-enriched loaves we have come to know and love. “Ricki’s is so good that a former Memphian who now lives in New York has them shipped on Thursday mornings,” my friend, and Memphis-native, Nancy Lipsey told me.

In recent years, however, some bakers have begun to break away from the traditional challah mold.

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