Plot Twist

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.

Yield: Makes 2 Loaves; 20 - 24 Servings

Twisted Garlic and Herb Bread

Twisted Garlic and Herb Bread

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.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours



  • 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 Dried Parsley
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
  4. Let rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size; about 1 – 1 1/2 hours, depending on your local climate.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Very carefully move the twisted loaf over to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  9. 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.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.


98 thoughts on “Plot Twist

  1. 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. :-)


  2. 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.

  3. 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? :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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 –

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. ‘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!

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 well as help me learn .

    thank you

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