If using active dry yeast, pour water into mixing bowl of electric mixer. Cover with yeast and about ½ teaspoon of the sugar. Stir gently to hydrate the yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to get foamy. (If using instant yeast, skip this step and mix your yeast and water in with the other ingredients in the next step.)
Add the oil, honey, sugar and bread flour. With the dough hook attachment, knead the mixture for about 4-5 minutes until the dough is formed. You may need to turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Decrease the mixer speed to low and slowly add the salt a little at a time, allowing each portion to knead into the dough a bit before adding more. Increase the speed and continue kneading for 4-5 minutes. The dough, which will be slightly sticky, should pass the windowpane test, meaning if you take a small piece of it and stretch it between your fingers, it should be translucent without ripping.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 3 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
Fold the dough over itself to gently deflate it. Divide dough into as many portions for the type of braid you are making. If making two smaller challahs, divide the dough in half and then divide each half into the number of portions needed for braiding. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle it with a little all purpose flour.
Shape challah as desired. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1¼ - 1½ hours. The challah should be puffy.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix together the non-drastic malt powder with the water* and brush it all over the challah. Bake 35-40 minutes. The internal temperature should be 200° F.
Allow to cool before slicing.