At least from the looks of it, yesterday's challah batch was stupendous. There was no real difference in the recipe I used. Actually, I was more than relieved that they rose so stupendously.
My previous couple of batches could be described as "flat as pittot." I used the same basic ingredients. There was one big change. I threw out the old yeast and bought a smaller package. I bake challah with dehydrated yeast. In the past, it had stayed "active" for months, even over a year. I'd buy the 500 gram package, store in a glass jar in the pantry, and I'd always have good yeast. That's true until it isn't. So, I dumped what remained and this time bought a smaller package.
By the time these challot/rolls had finished baking, they had risen so much you had to tear them apart. Honestly, I was extremely relieved to see the finished product. I had begun to fear that I had lost my touch.
Timing is so important when baking with yeast dough. If you leave it too long to rise, it can fall, too. No doubt that baking with yeast dough is a lot like life. We need both patience and common sense. It's all in the ingredients and the timing.
Enjoy in Good Health