First: You CAN do this!
I say that because I would never, ever, EVER even think of making anything with yeast until I was about 50 years old. What a waste of time!
This recipe works. A few tips and tricks will ensure that even a new baker can succeed, so stop that quivering lip and put on your apron.
I've developed this recipe using research together with trial and error. My preference is the milk and butter version but either way it's fantastic.
If you're not Jewish, you may wonder why all challah recipes call for water and oil instead of milk and butter. It's a kosher thing. It's forbidden to eat dairy and meat together and challah is almost always served with the Sabbath dinner featuring some kind of meat ... so all challah recipes use water and oil. That's fine, but I wanted to take my challah to a new level. You've never had a challah like this one.
There are a few special ingredients which bring this challah over the top. like saffron and real vanilla bean. You can certainly leave them out. The challah will still be amazing. The rest of the ingredients are standard.
I also found that using three rounds on letting the dough rise is better than two.
Use a thermometer. It's critical that you give the yeast a comfortable environment for them to be happy. It's also the best way to bake the bread to be sure it's baked enough but not over baked.
If you're still not sure if you're ready, I'm pretty active here so post your questions and I'll get back to you quickly. I'll hold your hand and walk you through. I wouldn't want anyone else to suffer 50 years like I did. —Superyalda