Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garlic Knots

I'm sure we have all had garlic bread some point in our lives. The combination of garlic, butter and oil on a nice crunchy piece of bread are just divine. It's so divine that we want to make ourselves whenever we have a desire for it... well, that's how I feel at least. There are tons of ways and recipes to make garlic bread. I started making garlic bread with toasting some bread and slabbing on some oil or butter, topped with garlic salt or powder. Then I moved on to rubbing pieces of garlic on my toast to heating up garlic infused oil and brushing it on toasted bread. One thing these techniques have in common is that they're quick. However, with a little extra time on hands, try making these 100% homemade garlic knots. I had my first garlic knot about two years ago and was anxious to make my own. The bread dough is super easy because it is a basic pizza dough. Do not be intimidated to make the bread, even if the bread does not turn out perfectly, the garlic mixture will make up for it! The garlic topping is made over the stove and when the knots come out of the oven, toss the knots with the garlic/butter/oil mixture and the heat from the bread will cook the garlic mixture and makes it absolutely delicious!

Garlic Knots
compliments of Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients: Basic Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water (105-115F)
1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
yellow cornmeal for baking sheet (for dusting on baking sheet)

1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey, 1 tbsp oil and stir until combine. Let mixture sit until it is foamy layer is formed on the top. You should wait a minimum of five minutes, I usually wait 15-20 minutes. I didn't have any honey, so I replaced it with a heaping tbsp of sugar.
2. Add 1-1/2 c. flour and salt into yeast mixture, mixing by hand until incorporated and mixture is smooth. Continue adding flour, 1/4 c. at a time, working the dough after each addition. Keep on adding flour until dough is smooth but still slightly sticky. NOTE: all of the flour may not be needed.
3. Knead dough with a stand mixer or by hand until smooth and elastic. This will take about 5-7 minutes with the mixer and longer if done by hand.
4. Oil a bowl with remaining tablespoon of oil and cover the dough on all sides with the oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it set in a warm, humid place for 1-1/2 hours. Make sure it is not placed in a dark, cool, or drafty area.

Ingredients: Garlic Knots
1 Basic pizza dough (recipe above)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Roll dough out to a 16X12 rectangle. Brush lightly with oil. Cut dough in half lengthwise and cut crosswise into strips that are 1-1/4 inch thick. I got 12 strips from each half. Tie each strip into a loose knot and lace on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Spring top with salt. Cover trays with plastic wrap or a dish towel and store in a warm place for 30 minutes.
3. Bake knots for 20 minutes.
4. While knots are baking, Combine butter and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until garlic is fragrant and tender, 3-4 minutes. Cover and remove from heat and set aside, but keep it warm. You can do this 5 minutes before the knots are ready if you don't want to worry about keeping it warm.
5. Remove knots from oven and immediately transfer to large bowl. Pour butter and garlic mixture over the knots. Add in cheese, parsley and a little salt if desired and toss the knots gently until all knots are coated.

-I did not put parsley or cheese...I didn't want to/didn't have definitely tastes good without it.
-I added some chives to give it some color- this is a good addition.
-To make these a little healthier, I used half the amount of butter and added 1-2 extra tbsp of oil
-These knots are great even without the garlic/butter/oil!

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