In a medium bowl, combine the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of warm water over the yeast mixture while turning the bowl so it stirs itself. Rest for 5 minutes, or until the yeast has bloomed and is bubbly, then add 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.
In a separate medium bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, the remaining 3 tablespoons of warm water, and the baking powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups (385 g) of flour, the table salt, and remaining ½ cup (110 g) of granulated sugar. While stirring, add the coconut oil and yeast mixtures to the dry ingredients and combine with a spoon. Once the dough is smooth, gradually add up to 1 cup (125 g) of flour and incorporate by kneading the dough with your hands (you may not need all of the flour).
Knead until the dough isn’t sticking to the sides of the bowl, then transfer to a large bowl greased with coconut oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rest on the counter for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured workspace. Knead gently to get out any large air bubbles, and form into a log shape. Depending on the braid you are planning to do, cut the dough into the appropriate amount of even pieces.
Braid into desired shape (braiding options below) and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel and let rise again for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325˚F (165˚C).
Lightly brush the challah with melted coconut oil for a nice shine and bake for 25-30 minutes, brushing with more coconut oil halfway through, until golden brown. To check for doneness try knocking on the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, it’s done!
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Need easy dinner ideas?
These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)