Place yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Allow the mixture to go frothy.
Combine hot milk, sugar, butter, salt and 1/4 cup of the extra water in a medium bowl. Let cool to warm.
In small bowl, slightly beat 5 eggs, then add to cooled milk mixture. Add milk and egg mixture to yeast mixture. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until smooth. Slowly add remaining flour until it forms a stiff dough. Knead on a floured board for 10 minutes (5 minutes with a bread hook in a stand mixer). Place in a large, lightly greased glass or plastic bowl. Turn dough over to grease both sides. Cover and let rise in a warm, dark place until doubled in volume, approximately 1 hour.
Punch down, cover and let rise again until double, approximately 30 minutes.
Punch again, and cut into three pieces. Form each part into a 50cm roll. Braid rolls on a large, greased baking tray. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Lightly beat remaining egg and brush onto loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 180 degrees C oven for about 55 minutes until nicely browned. Reduce baking time slightly if you make into two regular sized loaves.
Used different ingredients.
Excellent recipe. I saw that another baker thought theirs came out dry. I add four tablespoons of instant mash and it keeps softer longer. Adjusting the flour may make the bread too light to hold up. Traditionally, I make Challah with one huge braid on the bottom and tuck a tiny braid of four strands onto the top. Using an egg wash over the top after rising makes the loaf shiny and helps the sesame seeds to stick. Great entry! - 14 Jul 2008