In the bowl of a stand mixer - combine water, yeast and sugar, and allow to sit till foamy. 3-5 minutes.
Add all other ingredients into the bowl.
Mix on lowest speed with dough hook attachment for 5 minutes until a stretchy uniform dough comes together.
Pull the dough off the hook and form it into a ball before placing it back in the bowl.
Cover with a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm spot to proof for 2 hours. The dough should at least double in size.
Punch down the dough and remove from the bowl onto a clean surface.
Form the dough into a ball.
Cut the dough ball into 3, 4, or 6 even pieces, depending on the type of braid you want to make.
Roll out each piece into long pieces/“snakes” using your two hands.
Shape the pieces into a braid.
Let sit and rise again for 45 minutes.
Beat an egg and paint on egg wash and sprinkle with sesame, poppy, or sprinkles.
Bake for at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Challah should be brown and shiny and should sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. Enjoy!