Combine all of the ingredients and mix and knead themÂ?by hand, mixer, or bread machineÂ?until you have a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it?s puffy and nearly doubled in bulk.
Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet.
Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into three equal pieces, shape each piece into a rough log, cover the pieces, and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Place the three pieces of dough side by side on the prepared pan, and braid them, squeezing the ends together, then tucking them neatly underneath. Cover the braid gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or
Uncover and bake the bread for 20 minutes, tent it with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until it?s a deep, golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190Â°F. Remove it from the oven, and after a minute or
For sesame seed challah, reserve about 2 teaspoons egg white from the eggs in the dough. Combine it with 2 teaspoons water, and whisk until smooth. Gently brush this mixture on the risen challah just before baking, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.