BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Plot Twist

95 Comments

It’s one of those days. The sky is still dark when you finally wrestle off the heavy covers and swing your feet out of bed, never seeming to lighten a single shade all day. Rain falls intermittently, just enough to mock any attempt made to leave the house while remaining dry. Strangers hustle by with umbrellas carelessly outstretched, acting more as blunt weapons than shelters from the elements. How many times can you get whacked in the face during a brief 10-minute walk? Oh, let’s keep a tally and find out; it’s easy to lose count while tabulating the results in your head.

You know the script and play your part, muddling through as best you can, but wait- Who’s writing this story anyway? Why should you stick to your lines when a much more satisfying ending could be crafted with a bit of improvisation?

Here’s the plot twist you’ve been craving. Get home, throw off your muddy boots, cozy into a soft sweater, and break out the flour and yeast. There’s no antidote to those days, but there is a salve, and it comes in the form of baking bread. Something about the kneading of dough is indescribably cathartic, while the warmth of the oven can melt the iciest of hearts. Merely the smell of fresh dough transforming into golden brown loaves has a wholly restorative quality, even before taking a single bite.

Savory herbs mingle with roasted garlic in a rich, aromatic filling woven through every layer of soft, tender dough. You might think that they’re fussy, or too fancy to serve as an everyday loaf, but it takes no more work than the average bread. Treat yourself to something a bit more special than the standard; take back control and write your own story.

World Bread Day 2016 (October 16)

 

These two loaves are my ninth annual contribution to World Bread Day, and second submission to the baking contest mixed up by Simply Organic and Go Dairy Free. Should you find yourself in a baking rut and need new material to revise your personal script, just hit these links for ample inspiration, both sweet and savory.

Twisted Garlic and Herb Bread

Dough:

1 Package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Light Agave Nectar
1 3/4 Cups Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 – 3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour

Garlic and Herb Schmear:

2 Heads Garlic, Roasted
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 Tablespoons Simply Organic Dried Parsley
2 Teaspoons Simply Organic Dried Rosemary
2 Teaspoons Simply Organic Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Simply Organic Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Simply Organic Ground Black Pepper

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, agave, and warm water. Let stand until the yeast reactivates and surface of the liquid becomes bubbly; about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil, salt whole wheat flour, and 2 cups of the bread flour, mixing with a sturdy wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer.

Once the initial addition of dry goods has been completely incorporated, add the remaining cup of bread flour. Slowly knead by hand or machine for 10 – 15 minutes until the dough is smooth, supple, and elastic. If it still seems very wet, add up to 1/2 cup additional bread flour.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
Let rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size; about 1 – 1 1/2 hours, depending on your local climate.

Meanwhile, prepare the garlic and herb schmear by first squeezing the cloves of roasted garlic out of their skins. Place them in a small bowl and roughly mash with the salt. Let the mixture remain somewhat chunky, but smooth enough to spread without too much difficulty. Add in all of the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Set aside.

After the dough has properly risen, punch it down and divide it into 4 equal pieces. Take one at a time and on a lightly floured surface, press it into a rough rectangular shape. Use a rolling pin to further smooth it out, until it measure approximately 15 – 16 inches long (the exact width isn’t critical.) Cover the surface evenly with 1/4 of the garlic and herb schmear, and roll the dough up in a tight cylinder exactly the same way you would for cinnamon buns. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and schmear.

Now that you have your 4 filled rolls of dough, focus your attention at two at a time, to form each loaf. With the seam-sides down, use a very sharp knife to slice right down the center of each roll, but NOT all the way through. You want to reveal the layers within, but not cut the dough entirely in half. Press the tops of the two split rolls together to adhere, and very gently twist the pieces together, keeping the cut sides facing up. When you reach the end, press the bottoms together to seal, and curl both ends under to keep the pieces from separating in the baking process. Very carefully move the twisted loaf over to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and allow the loaves to rise once more, until not quite doubled in size. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown and utterly aromatic. The tempting smells will make it very difficult to wait, but allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Makes 2 Loaves

Printable Recipe

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

95 thoughts on “Plot Twist

  1. Pingback: Blunt Rolling Machine | purathrive reviews

  2. Right up my alley Ms Hannah. I could go a slice right now :)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: A week in photos, and some recipe crushes – Spice Box of Earth

  4. I love your writing. :) And your bread looks out of this world!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You always surprise me with each recipe but, oh man! How I love a good homemade loaf! This one looks absolutely delicious and perfect (like, SO perfect).
    Grey days, or any bad day in general, instantly get better when homemade bread is baking in the oven. :-)

    xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So beautiful. Those are the loaves I always dreamed about making but not quite did. Perfection! No day can feel grey when you have the perfect swirly loaf of bread on hand.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nothing like freshly baked garlic bread to chase away a dreary day or vampires. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow that bread looks absolutely amazing, so pretty! Ive been meaning to bake bread as well, and read that one can use a le creuset pot to bake them in, so tempted to try that as well. Have you ever? :)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Haha, exactly why I won’t carry an umbrella and they’re useless in the wind here anyway. This looks wonderful, a beautiful centerpiece perfect for a holiday table. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: Twisted Garlic and Herb Bread - Yum Goggle

  11. I love garlic bread more than almost any other bread product and I need to try your recipe next time I make it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This bread is stunning and such a delicious idea!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Beautiful loaves and great story! Thank you for particpating again in World Bread Day 2016!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pingback: Dairy-Free Bake Off: More Than a Dozen Winning Recipes with Spices!

  15. Just on looks alone, that’s really quite incredible. Looking at the ingredient list, I know it would taste beautiful too! If there’s an antidote to those days, it’s a good loaf.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Pingback: Pumpkin with Harissa and Cumin Cashew Dip

  17. We loved your beautiful photo and decided to feature it on Face book on our cover photo for a few weeks. I could not tag you because we can’t find a FB page for you. Hope you like it! Kelli at Yum Goggle!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thank you for this lovely creation! I really cannot wait to try making it. I just had a bit of trouble understanding exactly how to cut the rolls and twist the pieces. Could you please explain it again or include some pictures to demonstrate? Thank you so much in advance!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. You have inspired me! Newer done it before, not a foodie/ baking person, but yes, lets try!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. going to try this for sure

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Beautiful. Yes! Oh, this sounds great!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I love the build up to the plot twist! Wonderful post, it kept me intrigued while reading

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wow! That bread looks great. My first thought was cinnamon but I was happy to see one was Garlic and Herb. I began to smell the bread baking after reading. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I’m fairly new to bread-making but seeking a new challenge so this looks perfect! Check out my simple spelt bread recipe on my site :)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I love to cook! And to make it all fresh! I am glad I follow your page!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Ok I am not much of a cook but I am going to attempt to make this- thank you! My mouth was watering while reading…aw

    Carlee – evenmoreyou.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Heck yeah! I love baking bread and I write about it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you so much for a great post about my eternally favorite, bread. Likewise for sharing the recipe. My husband and I are ‘newbies’ in baking bread for personal consumption! We are still in our trial & error stage, practicing, practicing. We keep going even if the results are not yet perfect. It’s a new kind of excitement to feel the dough until it is fully kneaded, wait until it rises, and nothing is more delicious than be rewarded by the smell of hot, fresh, homemade bread! Heaven!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This sounds soo good, thank you for sharing! Will be trying this soon :)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This looks so delicous! I’ll definitely give this a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Making me wish I had an oven :-(

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Looks YUM!! Thanks for sharing this …. Simply magic! Keep them coming.

    Btw I write a blog as well.It’s about Movie reviews .Please drop by and feedback is always welcome.Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. You, my dear are an angel who should be promoted!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. really good mi niña !! xoxito

    Liked by 1 person

  35. that looks amazing! great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. It looks sooooo delicious 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  37. ‘There’s no antidote to those days, but there is a salve, and it comes in the form of baking bread.’ …it’s something about this thing. Something I can’t describe that made me love it. I would frame this!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. This is a really good recipe. I’ll make it right now

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I find baking my own bread to be intimidating. This looks so good that I wish I had more courage to try. Have you ever thought of teaching a class on the subject?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s really nothing to be afraid of! I used to be apprehensive too, but it’s truly no more difficult to make than any other sort of baked goods. I’d love to teach a class… but it’s tough to find the space, time, and audience for it.

      Like

  40. Wow..I want to make like this..♡

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Wow. I don’t bake bread but I just might with this one. Is there anything I can substitute for pumpkin puree?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. A captivating read that had me hanging on every word. Thank you for sharing this plot twist and marvelous recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. This is the best!

    Like

  44. This looks so tasty! I will be making this for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  45. Hi just discover your blog and I love it ! It’s just tasty and beautiful !

    Like

  46. If the recipes don’t get you, the photo will. Yum!

    Like

  47. It looks so good yummy 😋

    Like

  48. Looks very very good! Love me some Carbs!

    http://www.thegrandsecondhand.com

    Please check it out!

    Like

  49. Oooo, this looks amazing. I think I’d do this with some yummy pesto!

    Like

  50. It’s these kind of of great pics that draw me to the kitchen, big like!

    Like

  51. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! Shall try it out sometime :)

    Like

  52. Wonderful post! I once enjoyed baking bread. Alas, I must now find gluten free alternatives most of which don’t have the flavour and texture I miss.

    Like

  53. Ohmy this looks heavenly! Can’t wait till I get a chance to try it.

    Like

  54. This looks so good!! 😋😋. Please follow my blog: https://baking781.wordpress.com/. 🙂

    Like

  55. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Like

  56. I think I’ll add this to my Thanksgiving menu but not before I make a batch for us first, lol! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    Like

  57. Man o man…was eyeing up making Spelt Bread! For my needs! Otherwise, i go for any “ancient seed” loafs! Open to reccomendations anyone!

    Like

  58. Hey friends i am new to blogging..i just tried few things.. I dont know if you’ll will like it or not .i would appreciate if you’ll could give your feedbacks ..as well as help me learn .

    thank you

    Like

  59. Hey friends i am new to blogging…i will appreciate you’ll if you’ll would follow my site as well ad give your valuable comments..thank you

    Like

  60. Sounds delicious!

    Like

  61. How amazing! Please be a guest blogger about the process of baking bread and mental health for me: https://themodernrevolution.com/ Pete (info@awellrunlife.com)

    Like

  62. What an awesome bread you have here, love the herbs and garlic in it. Following you now to see what else you have in store. Thanks so much

    Like

  63. This looks so amazing! It’s making me hungry just looking at it!!

    Eliza x
    http://www.dontfaff.co.uk

    Like

  64. That picture of the bread got my mouth watering
    http://loveyourwifeandlife.wordpress.com

    Like

  65. I’m going to try this for thanksgiving, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I never bake my own bread, but this might convince me to try!

    Liked by 1 person

  67. It looks soooo delicious 😋

    Liked by 1 person

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