Here I'd like to show you 2 different methods to braid challah with 6 strands, or ropes of dough.
If you'd like to see some other ways to braid your challah, please look for my other Instructables.
Step 1: Method 1
We'll start with your favorite bread recipe. We'll do our braiding after the dough has risen once.
Split the dough in half, then split each half into thirds, to give you 6 equal pieces of dough.
Roll out each piece into a long rope. I find the best way to make the rope even all the way across is to roll from the center outward.
Once you have all 6 ropes, lay them out and stack the top of the ropes together and pinch them together. Squeeze the ends together and tuck them under a bit.
Step 2: Method 1 ... Braiding
While braiding I'm going to refer to each rope as 1L ,2L, or 3L (from the left) and 1R, 2R, or 3R (from the right). I think it's the easiest way I can explain it. I've labeled the first picture to explain.
We'll start by taking the first strand on the right (1R) and we'll move it to the middle, between 3L and 3R.
Now take the second strand from the left (2L) and move it all the way across to the far right. This will now 1R.
Now we'll be taking the farthest strand to the left (1L) and we'll move it to the center between 3L and 3R.
Take the second strand from the right (2R) and move it across to the far left. This will now be 1L.
Continue in this manner to the end ... 1L to the middle,2R to the left. 1R to the middle, 2L to the right.
Keep braiding until there's no more dough to work with, then pinch the ends together and tuck it under the end. Move to the top of the bread and tuck it under a bit too, to balance out the bread.
Now set the dough to rise a second time and bake :)
Step 3: Method 2
Once again, we'll start with your favorite bread recipe and begin braiding after the first rise.
Like step 1, method 1, divide the dough into half then divide each half into thirds. Again like step 1, method 1, roll each dough portion into a long rope, arrange the ropes, pinch the ends together at the top and squeeze.
Pick up the rope farthest to the right and take it over the next 2 ropes, then under the next rope and over the last 2 ropes. (you can do this from the left if you are left handed)
Start again from the right and go over 2, under 1 and over the last 2. Continue this way until the very end. Your braid will be growing at an angle on the counter.
When you get to the end, pinch the ends together and tuck them under. Go to the top of your braid and tuck a bit too.
Allow the bread to rise before baking.