Makes 4 smallish loaves, perfect for our family of four
Adapted from Joan Nathan
1-3/4 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
1-1/2 Tbsp yeast (1-1/2 packages)
1 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 cup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp kosher salt
8 to 8-1/2 cups flour
poppy or sesame seeds optional
In the bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook attachment, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar in the water.
Whisk oil into yeast, then whisk in 4 eggs (one at a time), remaining sugar, honey, and salt.
Turn on mixer and slowly add 8 cups flour. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes (or by hand for 15). Add more flour until smooth.
Grease bowl, put in dough, and flip dough. Cover with plastic wrap. Rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Keep rising, covered, for another 30 minutes.
Braid into 4 challah. Place on 2 baking trays with silicone mat, sideways. Brush with egg. Put one tray into the freezer for next week (wrap in plastic wrap once loaves are completely frozen). Let the other tray sit for 30 minutes. Or keep in refrigerator until ready to bake. Take out 15 minutes before baking.
Put on more egg glaze. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.