1. Proof the yeast in the water with a teaspoon of the sugar. Combine the remaining sugar, salt, and 7 cups of the flour and place in a large bowl. Put the proofed yeast in the center and stir into the flour. Add 1 egg and the oil and knead, adding additional flour to form a medium-soft dough.
2. Let rise, covered, until doubled, about 1½ hours. Punch down, divide in half, and divide each half again into three even portions. Braid two loaves and let rise again until doubled.
3. Brush with an egg wash made with the remaining egg and a little water. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a 350 degrees F. oven for about 45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a knife.