During the pandemic, much like many other people, I began to experiment with bread baking. My favorite Challah recipe is from Challahhub.com. I will admit that my results have been somewhat inconsistent, and I’m not sure why, but it may have to do with how happy my yeast is on any given day. For this recipe, I use one packet of Red Star yeast, to which I add 1 rough teaspoon of sugar and 1 cup of warm water. I put the water in a measuring cup, microwave it for 30 seconds, and then mix it until it is warm instead of hot. Then I pour the the yeast packet into the cup, and add the sugar to that, gently stir, and let the yeast do its thing for at least 10 minutes while I prepare the other ingredients. Letting the dough prove for longer, especially after braiding it, tends to yield better results.