Friday Night Dinner
This is a very easy recipe, a good place to start.
2 packages (2 rounded teaspoons) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
9-10 cups bread flour
1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Place yeast in a large bowl and sprinkle teaspoon sugar over top. Pour water over and allow to proof (takes 5-10 minutes). Whisk in oil, sugar and eggs. Stir in flour a few cups at a time. When dough is no longer sticky, begin to knead. Knead until you have a smooth dough (if you find sticky spots, add more flour). It's not necessary to knead for more than 5 minutes. Oil bowl and roll dough in oil (this prevents dough from drying out). Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 hours. Grease 2 baking sheets. If you like, sprinkle cinnamon on the sheets. Punch dough down and divide into 4. Now divide each piece into 3 and braid. Place on cookie sheets. Cover with towel again and allow to rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until dough is golden and challah sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to wire racks to cool.
(Note: this recipe does not use enough flour to take challah with a bracha)