We are having an early Thanksgiving due to one of our son's being in town this weekend . He can't get back from San Diego for the :" real deal" so we are doing our celebration early. Our daughter is delivering him from the Atlanta airport tonight. Our family has been enjoying this Challah since the mid 70's. We have it almost every week. The positive and negative of all the wild yeast baking is that I have not baked " my Challah" as often as in the past decades. Well this weekend it was a special request...Momma you HAVE to bake it. So here it is.
In the background is my hometown...New Orleans. I have pics all over my kitchen to inspire my cooking and baking mojo.
  Here is the revised recipe. I have added the auto lyse the past few months and like the way it helps the flour relax and absorb. As to cups/spoons...bear with an old dog...this works just fine...feel the dough and go with it. c
This is a double recipe. So you can halve it if you like; 13 c unbleached bread flour 3 1/2 c warm water 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c softened butter or margarine 6 large eggs ( have a 7th yolk only for glazing set aside) 3 tsp Kosher salt or 4 tsp table salt 9 tsp instant dry yeast ( not rapid rise...you can also sub active dry yeast) this = 4 pkgs./ envelopes Place 13 c of flour into a large bowl . I have 13 qt metal bowls for this purpose. In a large cup measure or bowl place warm 100 degree water and add all of yeast and a large pinch of the sugar. When yeast foams add the rest of sugar, salt, soft butter/margarine, eggs. Beat with a whisk. Pour over all the flour and gently fold all the flour and liquids together just till barely moist. Cover with a towel and leave to autolyse for 30 min. Lightly dust counter top with flour and place dough on top. Knead till soft and pliable ...about 10-12 minutes. May add very light sprinkles of flour to prevent sticking. The dough should hold together and not be dry or wet . Place back in large clean and oiled bowl. Cover with towel or plastic and let rise till double...about 1 or 1 1/2 hrs. Remove from bowl and using a scale divide into 4 large loaves or 6 med. Then make 3 more balls from each of these for braiding. Place shapes loaves on Pam sprayed baking sheets and cover and let rise 1 hr. Do not let it over proof. Preheat oven on convection bake at 350. Take reserved yolk and blend in a Tbsp or so of 1/2 and 1/2. Brush generously over the loaves and then dust with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Even if you don't use seeds make sure and glaze the loaves. The keeping quality as well as the fragrance and crust are worth the extra effort. Bake for 30 minutes. Internal temp with digital thermometer is approx 190-200. Cool and enjoy. c