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pistachio chocolate twist

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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‘The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended…

and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain — not a single
answer has been found —
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.’
-Mary Oliver, excerpted from American Primitive

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Many of you know that I contribute over at Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – I’ve been working  for Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François about four years. While I write some blog posts for them and spend a good deal of time pinning to their Pinterest boards, one of the highlights of my job is helping them work on cookbooks. A little over a year ago we spent another week together, along with photographer Stephen Scott Gross, mixing buckets of dough and baking piles of bread for their book.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I was a fan of the Bread in Five series before I met Jeff and Zoë, and now after spending time with the two of them, I can’t rave about them, and their books, enough. I’ve made boules, baguettes, bagels, doughnuts, beignets, coffee cake, sandwich bread, dinner rolls, bostok, and cinnamon rolls with their dough. They recently put out a new edition of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which is revised and updated with new recipes. I’m a huge fan of the whole wheat brioche dough, and use it often in my baking. It works great made into whole grain doughnuts, Christmas Stollen, Caramel or Cinnamon Rolls, and this Pistachio Chocolate Twist, which is a new family favorite.
pistachio wreath

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If you haven’t tried out any Bread in 5 recipes yet, I highly encourage you to! If you’re new to bread baking, their recipes are a great place to start, and if you’ve been baking bread for awhile, there is so much room for experimentation. It’s an easy and delicious way to make bread a part of your daily life.

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Pistachio Chocolate Twist
Adapted from The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. The Cake-Twist shape inspired by Floating Kitchen.

Make sure the center is cooked all the way through before taking out of the oven. I used Jeff and Zoë’s whole wheat brioche; you could also use their regular brioche dough, too.

2 pounds whole wheat brioche dough
1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (65g) finely ground pistachios
1/2 cup (100g) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespoons water or milk

For the twist
Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

Place the dough on a generously floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, and shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. As you roll out the dough, use enough to flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface, but not so much to make it dry.

Brush 3 tablespoons of the melted butter over the dough. Spread the pistachios and chocolate evenly over the butter. Roll the dough into a log, starting at the long end. Pinch the seam closed.

Starting an inch from the end, carefully cut the dough down the center of the log. Carefully twist the two strands of the log, one strand over the other, keeping the cut side up at all times, so the filling won’t fall out. Starting at the cut end, gently spiral the braid into a circle, no bigger than 9-inches across, making sure not to leave any holes or gaps.

Move the bread to the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, until puffed and touching (or almost touching) the sides of the pan.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350F.

Brush the ends of the twist with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the ends are golden brown and it is well set in the center.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

For the icing
Put the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water, and mix until combined. If the icing is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm the warm bread.
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  • Reply
    heather (delicious not gorgeous)
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 12:22 am

    yeast is one of those aborted ingredients for me; i have packets upon packets of old (and probably dead) yeast lurking everywhere. but then i see how easy and delicious and gorgeous the products turn out, so hopefully the resolve sticks this time!!

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 3:02 am

    It looks so yummy and the addition of pistachios is what I like most

  • Reply
    Abby @ Heart of a Baker
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Those twists and those pistachios! I don’t work with bread enough and this makes me want to spend a Saturday baking.

  • Reply
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I love seeing your technique shot in action! How cool is that! What a fun project to work on. I will have to check out their books.

  • Reply
    Jeff Hertzberg
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Sarah, you are the best, can’t wait until the next book we work on together…

    Love this post!

    Jeff

  • Reply
    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures
    Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Oh man – I had been eyeing the stollen recipe on their blog and now this? Def adding this book to my holiday list!

  • Reply
    maya kuijper
    Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    this is so beautiful! love the photos, as always, and the flavor combination.

  • Reply
    Abby | Lace & Lilacs
    Monday, December 19, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Oh, this looks just incredible. Love. <3

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 5:49 am

    This is gorgeous! Love the pistachios. And I will have to get my hands on that book! xoxo

  • Reply
    KTINKA
    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Delicious, I will have to try this out. Oh, and I really love your gif animations!

  • Reply
    elise | les filles de madeleine
    Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I have been wanting to make whole wheat pastries and babkas and twists for ages, so I’m definitely adding this to my list of things to try this holiday season. I don’t think I will leave the kitchen this next week.

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