Questions about the usually braided, pair of breads eaten at Shabbat and holiday meals.

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Why are challot traditionally braided?

What is the reason that challot are traditionally braided? When did this tradition begin?
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One Challah or Two?

If two challahs are braided and baked together on one pan, and before they are completely baked, they have stuck together, do I have one challah or two? I.e. can I separate them and still have two ...
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Not eating from the Lechem Mishnah

Take for example the following case. Someone only has one piece of bread. However his neighbor has 2 whole challas (and only 2.) May the first with the piece of bread take from his neighbor the 2 ...