Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Whole-Grain Chocolate-Cherry Bread Twists

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr 55 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 12 twists
The nuttiness of the whole-grain dough in these twists syncs up perfectly with the bittersweet chocolate and the tart cherries. The twists come in at a modest 160 calories each but taste rich, thanks in part to just a little butter brushed over them right when they come out of the oven.



  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add the bulgur and quinoa and simmer for 10 minutes. Place the grains in a fine-mesh strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Let the grains drain in the strainer for 15 minutes, then spread out on a thick layer of paper towels to absorb any extra moisture. Meanwhile, coarsely grind the flaxseed in a spice grinder, just to break them open.
  2. Stir together the warm water, agave and yeast in a measuring cup or small bowl. Let sit until a small layer of foam develops at the top, about 3-5 minutes. (If this doesn't happen, discard and try again with new yeast.)
  3. Whisk the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Add the foamy yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour and mix together with a stiff rubber spatula. When the dough starts to come together, mix in the cooked grains, crushed flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, cherries and chocolate. Form into a uniform ball in the center of the bowl. Be sure to scrape and use any dough stuck to the sides. The dough will be very sticky at this stage. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a clean, dry work surface. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and knead for a couple of minutes, working in just enough flour to make the dough less sticky but still moist to the tough. Flour your hands periodically to prevent sticking.
  5. Roll the dough out into a 10-inch square; cut the square in half and then cut each half into 6 crosswise strips about 5 inches long. Brush the strips all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle half over the butter. Take the ends of one strip and twist in opposite directions until fully twisted. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips, spaced about 1 inch apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rest in a warm place until puffed slightly, about 30 minutes. 
  6. Uncover the strips and bake until the bottoms are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven; brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Cook’s Note

Make ahead tip: Freeze the unbaked strips for up to 2 weeks. Thaw and let sit and room temperature until slightly puffed, about 1 1/2 hours before baking. When you stretch the dough, the whole grains and seeds might poke holes in it. Just patch them over and continue.