An easy Vegan Walnut Twist Bread recipe that is delicious, full of nuts & chocolate flavors, and a stunning centerpiece wreath. Plant-based!
Time for another fun and classic recipe that is also conveniently perfect for Easter (or Christmas, or other holidays). This Vegan Walnut Twist Bread is as easy to make, as it is pretty to look at and delicious to eat.
We love to have a slice or two with our afternoon coffee. And though there are just the two of us, this vegan twist bread will keep a while refrigerated, but we also love to just slice it up and freeze individual portions, so it’s ready to just grab a slice whenever we get a sweet tooth.
To make this fantastic Vegan Walnut Twist Bread you will need some staple ingredients.
For the dough:
- Dry active yeast. You can also substitute with fresh yeast (about 20 grams), but we mainly use dry yeast as it’s the most convenient.
- Soy milk. Use warm milk to help the yeast activate faster. We recommend using soy milk in baking, as it most resembles regular milk by macros and will give the best result. In a pinch, almond milk will work.
- Vegan butter. Melt the butter and cool down to room temperature before adding to the mixture. In a pinch, you can replace it with vegetable oil. We like to use the Naturli brand.
- Sugar. Plain old granulated sugar is fine
- Aquafaba. The secret ingredient! Aquafaba is the liquid that is leftover in a can of canned chickpeas. Save the liquid and use it as an egg whites replacement in this recipe (and many others).
- Flour. All-purpose flour is fine in this recipe, but do not use self-rising flour.
For the filling:
- Vegan butter. Make sure the butter is room temperature and very soft to the touch. We like to use the Naturli brand.
- Brown sugar. Use brown sugar in the filling to give extra caramel flavor – the sugar will melt and caramelize while baking.
- Cinnamon. For extra flavor. There is never enough cinnamon!
- Espresso powder. Just a teaspoon is enough to give depth to the flavors. You can skip this ingredient if you don’t like coffee or should not consume coffee.
- Dark chocolate. We used dark chocolate melting drops in this recipe, but a regular chopped-up dark chocolate bar will work just as well. Just make sure to use really high-quality chocolate that melts when heated.
- Walnuts. For crunch and flavor. Can be swapped with pecan nuts, roasted hazelnuts, or almonds. Or omit if you have a nut allergy.
How to make the Vegan Walnut Twist Bread
Start by activating your yeast. If you are using dry yeast it’s always a good idea to jump-start the rising process by activating, that is, waking up your dormant yeast. This will speed up the dough proofing, but you also get to make sure your yeast is still alive and, well, active.
I like to just place the yeast into a bowl, glass, or jar, and pour it over with warm milk. The milk should be warm so that if you touch it with your finger the temperature is nice and comfortable. If your milk is scalding hot, it will kill your yeast. If your milk is cold, the yeast will not wake up.
I also like to stir in some food for the yeast – they eat carbs, so a teaspoon of flour or a pinch of sugar will do.
Give everything a good stir, then cover the jar with a napkin and let sit for about 10 minutes for the yeast to activate. Once the yeast is activated it should look like picture number 2 below: bubbly, frothy, doubled in size, and with a distinctive pleasant yeast smell. You may even see bubbles popping. At this point, your yeast is ready to go.
To the yeast, add melted and cooled down vegan butter, sugar, aquafaba, and salt (1 below).
Whisk to combine, then add the flour (2) and gently fold it into the mixture (3).
Continue stirring, folding more air into the dough. At this point, the dough will look quite runny (4), but just continue mixing. You can also do this with a kitchen robot and save you some work.
Knead the dough for about 8 minutes until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. If your dough is sticky, add a little more flour, but don’t overdo it. The dough will transform during proofing.
Once the dough is kneaded, place it in a bowl, cover with cling foil, and let rest in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size. This is what my dough looked like before proofing:
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix them with your hands into a uniform mixture. Make sure to really incorporate the butter, so there are no large chunks (my filling could use some more work!). If your butter is not fully incorporated, it will melt on the baking pan while baking, instead of in the dough. You could also just melt the butter, and mix the rest of the ingredients in.
How to roll and twist the dough
Once the dough is risen and doubled in size make sure it’s ready to be rolled out. Press a fingertip into your dough – if the finger leaves a hole in the dough that springs back slowly, it’s good to go. If the dough springs back quickly, leave it some more. If the dough does not spring back at all, you may have over-proofed it. In this case, give it a quick knead, and let proof once more.
Transfer the risen dough to a work surface dusted with flour. Roll it out to a large thin rectangular shape, about 0,5 cm / 1/4 inch high. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving about a centimeter of dough on all sides uncovered (1 below).
Roll the dough over the filling by the longer side as picture below (2), then slice it in half length-wise for the filling to show (3). Twist both of the dough pieces together into a spiral shape (4).
At this point, your bread could be placed into the baking pan and you’d get a babka once baked. See a similar recipe here.
And just because I like the picture, here’s a close-up of the sliced dough with the filling exposed. It’s magical!
Ok, back to our twist bread! Once you have it braided, shape the dough into a circle, cutting off the ends as needed (if there are “dead ends” with no filling), and pressing the ends securely together.
Carefully but decidedly transfer the twisted bread onto your baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover it and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
While the bread is resting, preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F (fan oven to 160°C / 320°F).
Brush the twisted bread with some soy milk before baking, then transfer it into the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown in color, and crisp.
Remove the baked twist bread from the oven, and let it cool to room temperature.
If you want extra flavor and a shiny glaze on the twist bread, bring a 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsp of sugar to a boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes for the sugar to dissolve. Brush the twist bread with this syrup as soon as you take it out of the oven.
Serve the twist bread with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or as is. We recommend serving at room temperature or slightly warm. See “storage” for more serving tips.
Store the twist bread refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months.
When ready to serve we recommend you reheat the twist bread slightly either in a microwave, oven, or simply in a pan, just until the fats and chocolate start to melt.
Explore more similar recipes:
- 7 grams dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup soy milk (warm, 125 ml)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (melted, 55 grams)
- 1/4 cup sugar (60 grams)
- 4 tbsp aquafaba
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups flour (300 grams)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (room temperature, 120 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 grams)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup dark chocolate (180 grams)
- 1 cup walnuts (120 grams)
- 1 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- Place the yeast in a bowl, and pour over with warm milk. Give it a stir, then cover the bowl with a napkin and let sit for about 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- To the yeast, add melted and cooled down butter, sugar, aquafaba, and salt. Whisk to combine, then add the flour and gently fold it into the mixture. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes until smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. If your dough is sticky, add a little more flour. Once the dough is kneaded, place it in a bowl, cover with cling foil, and let rest in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in size.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix them with your hands into a uniform mixture. Make sure to really incorporate the butter, so there are no large chunks.
- Transfer the risen dough to a working surface dusted with flour. Roll it out to a large thin rectangular shape, about 0,5 cm / 1/4 inch high. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving about a centimeter of dough on all sides uncovered. Roll the dough, then slice it in half length-wise for the filling to show. Twist both of the dough pieces together into a spiral shape, then shape it into a circle, cutting off the ends as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F (fan oven to 160°C / 320°F). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, then carefully transfer the twisted bread onto the tray. Cover it and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
- Brush the twisted bread with milk before baking, then transfer it into the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown in color, and crisp.
- Remove the baked twist bread from the oven, let it cool to room temperature, and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.