I wish I'd made this bread for Easter, it's so delicious and lovely. It is, of course, another Peter Reinhart stroke of of genius. The best part was braiding the six strands together. Initially it was frustrating; when I read numbers they just buzz around my head like angry bees, as opposed to words, which generally make sense. These were the directions for braiding: "Number strands 1 through 6 and bring strand 6 over 1. Stand 5 has now become the new strand 6, and the old strand 6 is now strand 1. Now follow this pattern: 2 over 6, 1 over 3, 5 over 1, and 6 over 4. Repeat." Huh?!? Now I'm sure that's clear as a bell to some folks, and I'll give ol' Peter a break as the rest of his book reads like a song. But I just had to throw up my hands and let intuition take over. Sometimes our body knows things on a level our mind can't access. So, I just took those six ropes of dough and started weaving, over and under. And miraculously, except for that one funny lump, it formed some sort of pattern and looked much like challah is supposed to look!
This makes amazing french toast!