We have pizza night once a week- usually on Sundays. We vary the type and toppings, of course. 🙂 During the initial lockdown, we started experimenting with many variations of garlic knots to eat with our special pizza. I now realize that pizzeria versions are soaked in an incredible amount of oil. I opted for a drizzle before and after baking instead.
We made them with different doughs and determined that a 24-hour pizza dough (one of my favorites) resulted in our preferred garlic knots. We also attempted to make them with sourdough pizza dough (of course!) but they were too puffy. We experimented with different baking temperatures as well. I found that a higher oven temperature and shorter baking time resulted in more tender garlic knots.
This recipe makes two batches of eight knots; I froze half and thawed them in the refrigerator prior to baking with excellent results. Great.
Yield: about 16 garlic knots
For the Dough:
- 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) 00 Flour
- 153 grams (1 1/4 cups) King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
- 8 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
- 2 grams (scant 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast OR 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) fresh yeast
- 4 grams (scant 1 teaspoon) good olive oil
- 202 grams (1 cup minus 1 T) lukewarm water
For the Topping: (make half if freezing half of the garlic knots)
- 5 to 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 pinches coarse salt
- dash of red pepper flakes, or more to taste, optional
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- marinara sauce, optional
- minced parsley, for garnish, optional
To Make the Dough (24 to 48-hours in advance):
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the flours and salt; make a well in the center.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the yeast, olive oil, and lukewarm water.
- Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry mixture and begin mixing the two together with your hands, gradually incorporating the dry into the wet. This process will be more like mixing than kneading.
- After about 3 minutes, when the wet and dry are well combined, set the mixture aside and let it rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. This allows time for the flour to absorb the moisture.
- Flour your hands and the work surface. Gently but firmly knead the mixture on the work surface for about 3 minutes. Reflour your hands and the surface as necessary. The dough will be nice and sticky, but after a few minutes of kneading it should come together into a smooth mass.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces, shape them gently into balls, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 and up to 48 hours before using. This process, called proofing, allows for the fermentation that gives the dough structure- which results in a chewy, pliable crust with great flavor.
To Shape the Dough:
- Roll each dough ball into an 8-inch log.
- Using a knife or bench scraper, cut each log into 8 pieces (approximately 1-inch each and equal in size).
- Roll each piece into and 8-inch long rope. (You will have 16 ropes.)(I did this by hand but my kids also used a rolling pin.)
- Tie each rope into a knot. (The ends can be tucked underneath or left out.)
- Arrange the knots on two aluminum foil-lined baking sheets. (I ultimately preferred aluminum foil over parchment paper because of the high oven temperature.)(At this point some of the garlic knots can be frozen- see note below.)
- Lightly cover and let them rest in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes. (I used a proofing oven.)
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (I used the baking stone setting with a stone placed in the lowest position.)
- When the rise time is nearly complete, prepare the topping.
To Prepare the Topping:
- Combine the olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a small skillet.
- Cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and reserve.
To Bake & Serve the Garlic Knots:
- When the rise time is complete, brush the top of the garlic knots with a little more than half of the garlic-olive oil topping.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and brush with remaining garlic-olive oil topping.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and/or parsley, as desired. Serve plain or with marinara sauce for dipping.
Note: Cover and store leftover garlic knots in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze Dough Prior to Baking: Arrange the shaped knots on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, for 1-2 hours. Remove from the freezer. Knots should be frozen and no longer sticky. Place into a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter. Bring to room temperature, arrange on 2 foil-lined baking sheets, cover lightly, and allow to rest/rise in a warm spot for 1 hour before baking as above.