1.5 Tbl dry yeast
1 Tbl sugar
1.75 cup water, lukewarm
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teas. salt
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups flour
egg yolk for brushing
sesame or poppy seeds for decoration (optional)
In a large mixing bowl place the yeast, 1 Tbl sugar and the water. Let stand for about 5-7 minutes for the yeast to start bubbling.
Whisk in the eggs and the olive oil, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbl salt.
start kneading, using an electric mixer (only a heavy duty will do) or by hand until smooth, adding 8 cups of lower gradually. if sticky (usually not needed) add a tablespoon of lour at a time. Knead about 7 minutes by hand, or 3-4 minutes by an electric mixer).
Place dough in a large greased bowl. Turn dough to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until double in volume.
Test by pressing two fingers gently into dough; if indent remains after removing fingers, the dough has risen completely, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down, cover and let rise again in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down for a second time, cover and let rise again in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
(you must let the dough rise at least twice, 3 time is optional but preferable).
Punch down dough.
Turn dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about one minute.
Cut the dough in half (this recipe will yield 2 challahs).
Divide each part to as many strands you want to bread 3, 5 or 6 and roll them to EVEN logs.
Bake in 375 for 30 minutes.