YIELD: 1 large challah loaf or 2 small challah loaves
1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
1 Cup warm water
2 large eggs, beaten
¾ Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup canola oil
4-5 Cups all purpose flour
Whisk together the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast starts to bubble.
Beat in the eggs, oil, and salt.
Using a strong spatula (or the dough hook of your mixer) mix in flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture.
Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes. (If you don’t knead the dough well enough, the challah will not hold its shape when it is braided.)
Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to proof. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.
Once proofed, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 3 equal portions. Shape each of the three portions into a long rope. Using your palm, press the three ropes together at the top and begin to braid the dough. Once finished braiding, tuck each of the ends under to create a more finished/clean look. Let proof for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaves. Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes for 1 large challah (if you are making 2 small challahs, bake for 30-35 minutes).
NOTES: Do not try to slice the bread right when it comes out of the oven. If you are storing the bread to eat later, make sure it is fully cooled before you put it into any kind of container or it will create condensation that will lead to mold.