FOR THE DOUGH
TOPPINGS OR FILLINGS
In a bowl combine the lukewarm (not boiling) water with the yeast and sugar. Allow the mixture to activate for 10 minutes till a foam begins to form on top. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Stir to combine. Whisk together the egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients. Use a fork to mix to incorporate everything. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead for 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky add flour till you get the right consistency.
Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a tablespoon of oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C
Once the dough has risen, make the BROCHA **** and shape the challahs.
Place each challah onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg and water mix. Allow the challah to rise again for an hour. Brush again with the egg wash and sprinkle with the toppings of your choice.
Bake the challah for 20-25 minutes or until the bottom is brown.