My dear husband, bless him, has come along way with his eating habits. When we met, he had more condiments in his fridge than real food and truly believed that frozen Jalapeño Poppers made for an entire meal. Although he has always been open to trying new things like sushi andThai (even before I was around), now he might even be more of an adventurous eater than me. His cooking skills have gone from only being able to cook chicken breast (still sort of impressive for a bachelor – in his defence) to making homemade gyoza with me and coming up different dishes and sauces that are quite creative and actually taste really good.
So while I am the one who mainly cooks for us, I do turn to him for certain tips. Prior to his frozen food days, he worked at a pizza place as a teen. One of his tasks was to make fresh dough. I’ve mentioned it on here before that breads are not my specialty, but I have been making an effort to try more and more bread and pastry recipes when I have the time. So when it comes to kneading and forming a decent dough, I call on my dear Brett. The same guy that I teased for trying to cut a tomato with a butter knife. The same guy that could once stomach a corndog from 7-11.
Yes, not all breads and pastries have the same dough or kneading process. However, this recipe does seem to start just like the others: some warm milk, yeast, a bit of sugar, and flour. I tend to have pretty cold hands (not to mention it has been pretty chilly these days), so my dough never quite looks right to me. Since most of my baking requires very accurate measurements, I am always a bit stressed when my dough looks a little rough or ragged. Have no fear! With a bit of advice for my ex-pizza slinging main squeeze and the addition of a bit more liquids or flour until it looks just “right,” we are back on track to the goodness of this amazing bread twist.
Now you might be looking at the twisted-ness of this dish and think its too complicated. Believe me, it’s not that bad. If you can get past the dough-kneading, you can surely pull this off. Ever make cinnamon rolls? Well it is kind of the same idea, but instead of slicing into rolls, you give the whole things a big ol’ twist. After the resting time, you will only be about 30 minutes away from warm, gooey Chocolate Pomegranate Bread Twist heaven. The dough is spread with a cinnamon-butter mixture and topped of with chopped pecans and dark chocolate chunks. As it bakes, the dough rises and the cinnamon-butter and chocolate melt in between all the awesome layers. Out of the oven, give a generous snow-fall of powdered sugar and a handful of pomegranate seeds. Best eaten warm – but I probably don’t have to tell you that. Your nose will guide you!
One of the best parts about this bread twist is that you can change up the flavours to whatever your heart desires. Try mixed berries in the summer, swap out the nuts, or even spread with chocolate-hazelnut butter. I think I might have to try that combo next….. The pomegranates here make it look super festive, don’t you think?
- 2 1/4 t dry active yeast
- 1 T granulated sugar
- 3/4 c lukewarm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 T butter, melted
- 2 1/4 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1/3 c chopped pecans
- 1/3 c chopped dark chocolate
- 1 egg, beaten
- pomegranate seeds
- confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Stir together the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the egg yolk and melted butter into the warm milk.
- Pour in the yeast mixing and stir to combine. Let rest 5 minutes as the yeast froths and activates.
- Meanwhile, mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- While stirring with a wooden spoon, pour in the milk mixture.
- Stir together as much as possible before turning out on a flour-dusted work surface.
- Knead the dough together for about 5-10 minutes, until fairly smooth but not sticky.
- Place dough in a greased mixing bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let rest for about an hour, or until dough doubles in size.
- Once the dough has rested, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a cast iron skillet (about 9-10 inches wide) and set aside.
- Stir together the softened butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Turn out the dough and give it a few good kneads.
- Roll out the dough to about a 12" by 18" rectangle.
- Spread the cinnamon mixture over the dough, leaving a 1" boarder around the edges.
- Spinkle on the chopped pecans and chocolate, pressing well into the cinnamon mixture.
- Starting with the long edge of the rectangle facing you, roll up the dough.
- Leave the dough seam-side down and tuck under the ends.
- Carefully slice the dough log lengthwise down the center, leaving about 1" on one end still intact.
- Flip the two strands of dough so the insides face up - with all the pecans and chocolate bits facing up towards you.
- Carefully overlap the strands of dough to create a braid.
- Take the braid and connect the two ends create a circle of twisted dough.
- In one swift, confident motion, transfer the twisted bread to the skillet.
- Brush the beaten egg onto the doughy parts of the bread.
- Press in any pecans and chocolate chunks that may have gotten loose.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
- Dust with confectioner's sugar and top with pomegranate seeds.