1/2 Cup warm (not hot) Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Packets of Dry Yeast
Let stand for 15 minutes in a warm place. It should look foamy.
Combine and Mix:
6 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
4 Eggs (checked)
1 Cup Hot Water
3/4 Cup Oil
Knead together adding 1 to 2 cups more flour if needed. Knead 15 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and tea towel.
Let rise for 1.5 hours in a warm place until it doubles in size.
Punch down gently.
Form into two braided loaves.
Let rise covered with tea towel in warm place at least 1 more hour.
Using pastry brush, coat with beaten egg (and sugar) and sprinkle desired topping (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc).
Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 25-35 minutes.
The process takes a minimum of 3.5 hours.
Yeast 15 min
Knead 15 min
Rise 1.5 hours
Braid and Rise 1+ hours
Cook 25-35 min
Note: I have had great success with this recipe. The Challah is light and sweet. I got the recipe years ago from Rachel at Chabad in Palo Alto.