Whole Wheat Garlic Knots

6 Aug

Who doesn’t love a garlic knot? Little knots of freshly baked bread brushed generously with buttery garlic sauce??? Sign me up.

Traditionally found at pizzerias, garlic knots are easy and fun to make at home. Put your yeast-bread fears aside and give these naughty knotty little rolls a chance.

Whole Wheat Garlic Knots

These knots use a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flours for a balance of nutty taste and pillowy softness. Great dipped into warmed marinara sauce or scooped into your favorite pasta dish, you’ll love these little rolls with a garlicky punch!

For the bread:

  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 oz.)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Directions:
  1. Dissolve yeast and honey into warm water. Let sit until very foamy, about 10 minutes. (If your yeast does not foam, it is inactive and you will need to start over).
  2. In a large bowl, sift whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Create a well in the middle.
  3. Pour the yeasty water into the well and then drizzle in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Using a fork or your hands, combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 5 minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. Dough should feel soft and smooth. Form into a ball.
  5. Coat a large bowl with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and place dough inside, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot. I like to use the turned-off oven for this step. Let rise for at least one hour until doubled in size.
  6. When dough is doubled in size, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle, about 10 X 15 inches. Using a pizza cutter, cut the rectangle in half, lengthwise. Cut each portion into strips, about 3/4″ wide. Tie each strip into a knot. You may tuck the ends in, or leave them hanging like a knot in a shoelace.
  7. After you have formed all of the knots, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rest in a draft-free place for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400F. (Make sure your bread is not resting in there!)  When dough is fully rested, place the knots into the oven and bake 9-10 minutes (…for a small knot. Increase the time by a few minutes if yours are larger).
  9. While knots are baking, prepare the Garlic-Basil Spread (Recipe Below). While still hot, spread with the garlic mixture or toss it all into a large bowl and get dirrrrrty. Whichever you prefer.
Garlic-Basil Spread:
  • 5 Tbsp. Earth Balance or butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt, to taste (optional)
Directions:
  1. Melt the Earth Balance (or butter), garlic, and salt (if using) in a small saucepan over low heat until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Brush onto knots using a pastry brush, or pour into a large bowl, add knots, and toss to coat.

The foamy yeast

Once the yeast is bubbly, make a well in the flour.
Pour the yeasty mixture into the well.
Then drizzle in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.
Mix it together with a fork. I quickly abandoned the fork and got in there with my favorite tools: my hands.
Once it’s combined, turn it out onto a floured surface. It’ll look scruffy like this:
Knead out all your frustrations for the next five minutes until you have a supple ball of dough.
Coat a large bowl with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl, turning to coat with the oil.
Cover it with plastic wrap and then place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise.
By dough! See you in 1-2 hours!
Clean up the mess you made while you wait.
My mom lives by the mantra, “Clean as you go.”  I live by the mantra, “Make a giant mess and hope that Travis walks through the door just in time to clean it up.”
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, roll it out, and cut it into strips.
I made little bitty knots. If you want bigger garlic knots, don’t cut the rectangle in half lengthwise and make longer strips.
“Tie” the pieces of dough into a loose knot to form. After a few, you’ll get a feel for the easiest way to do this. It’s really just as simple as tying a knot in a string.

The formed knots before resting

After resting, they will have risen a little bit more.
Now they are ready to bake. I tried baking them on both a pizza stone and a baking sheet and found that I preferred the softer bite that the baking sheet provided. If you want a crunchier crust, feel free to use a preheated pizza stone.
Brush them liberally with the garlic-basil spread and serve immediately!!
We dipped ours in marinara sauce and they were so good! Soft, chewy, and slightly crisp on the outside, with lots of garlic flavor!
Get out your mouthwash folks! You’re gonna need it!
What’s your favorite kind of bread? Mine is a hearty, fresh-out-of-the-oven, whole-grain loaf that I can dip into sauces or slather with butter and jam. Mmmm!
-Lou
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One Response to “Whole Wheat Garlic Knots”

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