Our daughter is home for a short break and we’re making the most of it. One thing she enjoys doing is cooking. Being home, she gets a well equipped kitchen to experiment with recipes to her hearts content. She decided to make Roasted Pumpkin Soup the other day so I baked some Easy Garlic Knots to have with them. You can snack on them with Marinara sauce for a dip too.
Garlic Knots are amongst one of the easier breads to make. Knead the dough and allow it to rise, shape them, into knots, let rise again, brush with garlic and herb butter and bake them. That’s it. These Easy Garlic Knots are pretty on the table and soft and fluffy to eat. They’re also absolutely delicious because dough + garlic + butter + herbs = perfection!
Garlic Knots (also called Pizza Knots sometimes), are generally served in pizzerias. No one knows when and how these little breads came about. They’re supposedly a New York invention. The first mention of them in print was in by Mario Bianco in Newsday in July 1988. Quoting him, “Irresistible Garlic Knots Twists of garlic are cheap and popular munchies in the bread baskets at several local restaurants.” Anthony Sette of Anthony’s Place in Brooklyn however claims his family has been making them since 1947. These were a good way to use up excess dough from making pizza. That sounds like a good origin story, but it really doesn’t matter much in the larger scheme of things. We do know that there are very few people who don’t like them. I’m not a fan of things very garlic, but I can eat my way through Garlic Knots.
It’s pouring here right now so there’s no fresh parsley to be found. I make do with just dried herbs in such situations. If you can find it, please, please use the fresh parsley. It makes all the difference. The light sprinkling if Parmesan is a personal preference. I like mine without.
Easy Garlic Bread Knots
- 1 cup water more if required
- 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 25 gm butter
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley optional
- Lightly warm about 1/2 cup water. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in it. Leave it aside for about 5 to 10 minutes till frothy. Melt the butter, garlic paste and herbs together in a small pan. Keep aside to allow the flavours to develop.
- Put the olive oil, salt, and flour in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your kneading machine. Add the frothy yeast and as much water, as required, and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough that is just short of sticky.
- Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball, and transfer to a well-oiled bowl, turning well to coat with oil. Cover loosely and let it rise till double, about 1 1/2 hours or so.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Gently knead the dough a couple of times and divide into twelve equal portions. Roll each portion into an 8-inch long rope and tie into a single knot. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Place the shaped knots on a greased or paper lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and let them rise till puffy, about 45 minutes. Brush each roll with the melted butter and bake them at 200C (400F) for about 20 minutes or so till done and golden brown in colour.
- Lightly brush the hot rolls again with the melted butter if you like. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Serve warm.