okay, so this is a twist and not a braid. and not a wreath-shaped twist either. at crunch time, with my dough in three strands and ready to shape, i blanked on how to braid. too many years with chin-length hair, i guess. but i actually prefer this look.
i used cinnamon instead of cardamom, omitted the pearl sugar altogether, and kneaded in about three ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate.
after the first rise, i refrigerated the dough overnight. the next day when it was almost at room temperature, i shaped it into the twist. twenty minutes later, impatience set in, and i pushed the rise in a 170° oven. in fifteen minutes it was ready to go: 375° for 25 minutes was just right. it came out dense and moist, with no next-day warm-up necessary (i’d make it again!).