Friday, June 13, 2014

Crispy and Chewy Garlic Knots

I’m going to start this one off with a bit of an explanation–I made these knots over a week ago and was happily writing the post below when my computer froze. I turned it off, tried to restart… and waited for seven hours. After a long day in stores and driving around LA, I discovered that my hard drive was completely shot. I lost everything on the drive, and had to replace it with a new one. Somehow, luckily, I had uploaded all these photos onto WordPress before The Incident, so here we go. Probably the most stressful post I’ve written to date, but here it is!
There is nothing I love more in life than starch. It’s a fact. If I could eat pastries and bread and pasta for every meal, I would be so happy… but sadly, that’s not really the way life works. Why do I have to be a responsible adult sometimes?
garlic knot closeupLuckily, I believe in balance in my life. There is a wonderful time and place for gluten, and when it involves butter and garlic? Count me in. I made these on a lazy afternoon in my apartment and shared with friends–they were greatly appreciated by all. My garlic knots, from this recipe, are easy to make and even easier to eat. They made your house smell lovely and are such a wonderful treat.
garlic knot ingredientsYou will need:
  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 packet of instant yeast (you can use regular yeast, but instant yeast will eliminate the first rise)
  • 3/4 cup of warm water (110˚-130˚ F)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
garlic knot dry ingredients
Start by combining the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast in a large bowl.
garlic knot pre rise
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and then pour the water and oil into that well. Use a fork to loosely stir the mixture around, until it’s shaggy and starting to stick together. Once it holds together loosely, take it out of the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface. Knead for about five minutes, until the dough forms a smooth, springy ball. It should bounce back when poked. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise for ten to twenty minutes in a warm place.
garlic knot post riseAfter this time, the dough should have about doubled in size. Using a sharp knife, cut in half. Work with one half at a time for simplicity’s sake!
garlic knot rectangleTake one half of the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, push the dough into a rectangle. Knife is for scale–it should be about six inches long and maybe three inches wide.
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Using your sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2″ to 1″ wide strips. The edges will be very sticky, but use a little flour as you see fit.
DSC_0020 Take one strip at a time and stretch it out a bit until it’s maybe eight inches long. Then, cross the ends over each other, and pull one end through the hole in the middle. Place the knot on a lightly greased baking sheet, and continue with your remaining strips.
DSC_0021 When they’re all knotted, cover with plastic wrap and leave somewhere warm until they’ve doubled in size. This is their second rise, and it’s crucial! I preheated my oven to the lowest setting, turned it off, then opened the door for a few minutes. I then put the dough inside, and left the door cracked so that it wouldn’t be too hot in there.
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After this rise, take the rolls out of the oven, and preheat that oven to 400˚F. When the oven is hot, take the saran wrap off your sheet, brush your rolls with a bit of olive oil, and place them in the oven. Bake the knots for 13-16 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and brush your garlic butter over the top.
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I recommend making your garlic butter while the rolls are in the oven. Start by melting your butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium heat. When it’s melted, add your garlic, and cook for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant. This is just to take that raw garlicky bite out of the butter. Finally, add the salt and parsley, and stir to combine it all. Turn off the heat, cover, and wait until the knots are out of the oven.
DSC_0026Spoon or brush your garlic butter over each knot, then dig in. They’re crispy yet chewy, deliciously starchy, with a nice depth of flavor due to the garlic butter. I inhaled two, then gave the rest away to coworkers and friends… the knots are simply addictive! While the two rises of the dough do take up a bit of time, they’re dead simple to make and absolutely worth the effort. You could also cut down on time by using pre-made pizza dough–it will still need the second rise though! Also, if you do manage to ration these and have leftovers, I would recommend maybe ten seconds in the microwave. These knots, when warm, are absolutely amazing.
I’ve finally moved into my new place, and I’m thrilled to say that there is a ton of natural light and a well-appointed kitchen. Also, I just bought an awesome new cookbook, so prepare for some creative recipes! If you’re looking to see more regular, delicious updates, follow me on Instagram @__katherinew.

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