The recipe I use for challah is adapted from the Cheese Board Collective cookbook–it’s straightforward, fairly quick, and most importantly, delicious!
In a pot, gently warm 1 cup water and 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until liquid is around 110 degrees F (warm, but not hot). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 4 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat bread flour and 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp active dry yeast. Make a well in the middle, break in 3 eggs, and beat eggs lightly. Pour in butter/water and mix until dough ball forms. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and braid into 2 loaves. Let rise on a greased cookie sheet for about 45 minutes. If desired, combine 1 egg yolk and 1 Tbsp water and brush over loaves. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
This recipe doubles beautifully (why make 2 loaves of challah when you could make 4… or 6…), and makes the BEST French toast.