The date spread lends the challah a gentle sweetness and a reddish-brown color. Delicious!
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add remaining ingredients and begin kneading. Knead for approximately 15 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough is formed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1½ hours, until the dough doubles in volume.
After the dough has risen, transfer it to a floured surface and form loaves. Place loaves in a pan, cover, and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 1 hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
Brush challahs with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the loaves turn golden brown. Remove the challahs from the oven and from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Variation: Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts to the dough.