So I think my first braided challah turned out quite well, considering I was in my mom's kitchen with grocery store brand bread flour that had been in her pantry goodness knows how long. Her oven must run hot, because the bread rose and browned quite quickly, resulting in a little cracking along the edges of each rope of dough. Still, it was an encouraging endeavor.
My big question is in regards to the step where you roll each small ball of dough into a rope to do the braid. Some of the larger air bubbles popped when I rolled the dough out, but many stayed and made my challah look bubbly. If I deflate the dough first and then try to roll out, the dough becomes very stringy and doesn't want to stay in a long rope shape. Does anyone have any advice? Should I slowly press the air out of the dough and pull the dough into a long rope shape instead of rolling it against the counter?