Garlic Knots

Despite the fact that I’m two years from 30, sometimes I don’t think I’m very mature.  I’m not talking about the pile of stuffed animals sitting in the bowl chair in my living room, one of which I slept with for the entire duration of law school.  I’m talking about the fact that sometimes I have a strong desire to behave in immature ways.  You know, like posting things on Facebook.  Petty things.  Vindictive things.  Things that might make me feel better for a few hours or a day, but which in the long run are not going to solve anything and will, in any case, make most people think I’m batshit crazy.

So I fake it and try to act like an adult.  I bite my tongue, and instead I try to keep my days full and my mind occupied with happier thoughts.  I go shopping with my doppelganger.  I watch The Bachelorette and thank God that I’ll never have to go on a two-on-one date.  I walk home from work and coo at puppies taking their evening stroll along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.  And I try my hand at making new things, like yummy brownies and these garlic knots that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Garlic is awesome.  It packs a ton of flavor and wards off vampires.  I’m all about killing two birds with one stone.  The addition of butter makes me even happier.  Parsley, not so much.  It tastes like grass.  So I swapped it out for chives; if you’re not a parsley fan either, feel free to use a different herb.  Rosemary would be nice.

Eat these garlic knots for breakfast.  Eat them for lunch with a cup of soup for dunking.  Eat them with your leftover mac ‘n cheese from Max Brenner* for some carb-on-carb action.  Whatever you do, just eat them and think about how soft and chewy and garlicky they are.  If anything, at least they’ll keep your hands occupied so that you won’t go making a fool of yourself on the Internet.

*Yes, they’re known for their chocolate but MY GOD the mac ‘n cheese is good.  I’ve had it three times in three weeks and still it’s all I can think about.

Garlic Knots

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Yield:  10 knots

For the bread:

1 package active dry yeast, or 2 1/2 teaspoons

1 cup warm water

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons sugar

For the garlic mixture:

4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used chives)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 cup finely grated parmesan

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar with warm water.  Proof yeast by letting it sit in water for about 5 minutes, until frothy.  This means it’s alive.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, and sugar.  Create a small well in the center of the flour mixture.  Pour in the yeasty water and add oil.  With a fork, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  If the dough is too sticky, add more all-purpose flour.  Dough should be slightly sticky, but not stick to your hands too much.

Grease another large bowl with olive oil.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.  Place dough in a large greased bowl.  Flip the dough over a couple of times to coat the dough.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.  At this point, you can continue making the garlic knots, or let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight.  Just bring the dough to room temperature before rolling it out.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into approximately a 10-inch by 10-inch square.  Use a pizza cutter to slice 10 1-inch strips.  Tie a knot in the center of the dough, and wrap the ends under and around the knot.  For longer strips, you can tie two knots.  The knotting doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure that the dough is all tucked into itself.  Transfer knots to baking sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart (they will expand as they continue to rise).  Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake knots for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

In the meantime, in a large bowl mix together minced garlic, butter, olive oil, parsley, salt, and cheese.  When rolls come out of the oven, immediately toss them in the garlic butter mixture until the knots are thoroughly coated.  Serve warm.

These are best the day they are made because they get stale rather quickly, but can keep for a couple days if tightly wrapped.  Reheat at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.

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