The pictures for the instructions below were made while preparing for a friend's Break-Fast.
I use was taken from some newsgroup years ago.
I'd love to know where it is from (and make an appropriate link).
If you want just one large challah you can halve the amounts. This recipe is quite lenient, especially type of flour - you can use white, bread, or even some whole wheat flour in reasonable proportions - or modify the number of eggs. I left out the raisins and seeds in the challahs below.
I suspect your favorite recipe will work just as well.
At the point when you are about to divide your dough you have something like this:
Divide in two: and divide each in six:
Roll them into long ropes by doing this:
Now to the braiding.
Lay three ropes this way: and continue:
Note the position of rope 5:
and rope 6 just before it goes under rope 2:
After laying the sixth rope, push them together a bit to close the whole:
You get six pairs of parallel ends. Cross each pair once.
In the following picture I crossed just the pair appearing on the bottom left:
Make sure the one which started higher goes under the one which started lower.
In the following picture I crossed them all:
Now repeat the same process:
Take parallel ends
and cross them
and once more, if there is more rope.
You can help the ends stick by moistening them. Tuck the ends under the loaf.
Push the whole thing together so it is nice and round:
Let the challahs rise 35-45 minutes or as your recipe indicates:
Brush the challahs with egg wash.
Bake 35-45 minutes or as your recipe indicates:
Note: There are simpler versions. You can use 4 ropes, or even three.
Using six ropes has the advantage that the result looks like a star of david, with enough imagination.
You can accentuate this effect using sesame or poppy seeds.
Art design by Henri Darmon, 1991