The challah my mom always served at our holiday table when I was growing up. It is simple, yet fraught with childhood memories. *The flour amount is an estimate. A cup or two more or less might be necessary based upon your climate, weather, etc. **Can also make 4 smaller loaves rather than 2 larger ones.
- Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water (approx. 110-115 degrees F), then stir in yeast. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt with an electric mixer until well-blended.
- Add the 1 & 2/3 cup warmer water (approx. degrees 130 F) and the oil to the egg mixture. Beat with electric mixer.
- Add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture. Beat with electric mixer.
- Gradually add flour, blending with electric mixer until the dough become too stiff to beat. Continue adding flour, and mix by hand until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead dough, adding more flour as necessarily, until the dough become elastic and cohesive.
- Let rise in covered bowl until doubled in size (about 2-3 hours).
- Punch dough down, then knead on a floured board.
- Divide dough into two equal parts.
- For each loaf: Divide into three equal ropes, then braid to form the loaves.
- 11. Separate two eggs, keeping the yolks and discarding the whites. Beat the yolks with two teaspoons water. Brush yolks over the loaves with a pastry brush.
- 12. Let rise a second time on baking sheets for 30 minutes.
- 13. Preheat oven to 250°F.
- 14. Place bread in the oven, resetting the temperature to 350°F.
- 15. Bake 35 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.