I've been making challah regularly for years and would like to find a way to make the ropes longer before braiding so the end result can be a longer loaf, but they always shrink up. I've read that letting the dough rest will accomplish this but I have not had luck with that. My challah is always delicious and I'm happy with my recipe. I just want to have more flexibility in forming the loaves.
My method: I use a bread machine "dough only" cycle. I use either all AP unbleached flour, or half AP flour - half whole wheat flour.(I adjust the amount of water accordingly to make sure the dough isn't too dry.)
To make a rope, I either roll it on a floured board, or I hold it in the air and roll between my two hands.
How can I get the ropes to not spring back?