Why bake challah when there’s a crisis?

Since October 7, there have been no less than 20 challah bakes in our community.  Hundreds have come out to bake this bread, to pray for hostages, and to connect.  But why? What makes this Jewish practice the go-to event in times of crisis and when extra prayers are needed?
The answer is in the dough.
Baking challah is an ancient Jewish tradition. It is part of the preparation for Shabbat when two braided loaves will adorn the table to remind us of the extra portion of manna given to the Jewish people by G-d in the desert.
Interestingly, the mitzvah (commandment) of “taking challah” began in the desert, not with challah specifically, but with any bread that was baked. The line in Bamidbar 15:19-21 reads, “The first of your dough, challah, you shall offer as a gift to G-d.” In fact, it is important to understand that “challah” is actually the piece of dough that is siphoned off before baking and not the loaves themselves. 
If the quantity of flour is a minimum of 8 2/3 cups, challah must be taken (hafrashas Challah), meaning that a portion of the dough about the size of an egg is to be separated and offered to G-d through the Kohanim for their Shabbat loaves.
If the baker is more ambitious, they can use more than 12 cups of flour and make a blessing on the separated piece. “Blessed are You, our G‑d, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with commandments and commanded us to separate challah.”
This is when the community coming together to bake challah has its greatest impact. While one baker at home may not need to bake large quantities, many bakers gathered in a room will certainly be making many blessings. What is even more special is that after the blessing is made there is an opportunity for private prayer and reflection where one can ask for hostages to be released, for peace, for prosperity for their family, their country, for Israel, or countless other wishes before reciting a communal “Amen.” 
This is the power of communal baking.
At this challenging time for our community, these challah bakes brought people together, brought prayers to G-d, and hopefully contributed to the well-being of the People of Israel. "I find it so meaningful when I remember that this Mitzvah connects us with every single generation that came before us, reminding us to always think of how we can feed another, physically, emotionally, and spiritually," says Rabbi Levy Teitlebaum of the Ottawa Vaad HaKashrut 
Here is an example of how we can elevate challah baking by using each step in the process as an opportunity for a blessing before taking challah. 
Bowl - please Hashem, let this bowl represent my home and all the blessings that goes into making this challah should also come into my home.
Flour - please Hashem, let this flour represent sustenance and may we have more than enough so that we can give to others.
Sugar - please Hashem, let this sugar represent sweetness in our lives and let us have a little extra of that! (you can put in extra sugar ?)
Salt - please Hashem, let this salt represent balance in our lives and let us judge others favourably, just as we would want to be judged.
Eggs - here's where you pray for those who need blessings for fertility. Just say the names.
Water - please Hashem, let this water represent Torah. Just as water can seep into every nook and cranny, let Torah seep into every nook and cranny of our lives.
Oil - please Hashem, let this oil represent the anointing of us as your kings and queens (princes and princesses). Pour oil over your fingers saying your name and all the names of your family members as well as praying for whatever you want or need.