Garlic Knots

It finally rained here. It’s been screaming hot for what seems like months – bear in mind, we have snow starting in September and not ending until March or April, so we are far more accustomed to cool or cold temperatures than hot.

My lawn was brown in the front yard (no shade) and my car has been dust coloured no matter how often I wash it (I park on a parking pad behind my house but the alley is gravel so there is DUST).

It has been so hot, we’ve been going through 4 gallon bottles of water at an incredible pace and no time was spent outside. Our house was an oven….it was good when we first moved in but they re-roofed after a lot of hail damage and it’s been crazy hot in here ever since and takes forever to cool off.

But today! Oh, today was gorgeous. It started raining last night and it enthusiastically rained until this afternoon. Soup day!

So I made tomato soup. I was going to make grilled cheese sandwiches with it but wasn’t really feeling it, garlic bread appealed to me, though…..so garlic knots happened.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 -1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • ½ to 1 tsp salt
  • 2 – 2-1/2 cups of flour (depends on humidity)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 TB butter
  • 2-3 TB dried parsley

You could buy some frozen bread dough – the stores still sell that right? Two loaves in a bag in the freezer section. Thaw them out in a bread pan, toss them in the oven and fresh bread. Thaw it out, cut it up, tie in knots, bake and garlic it up.

But, if you’re making your own bread, put the water, sugar and yeast in a medium sized bowl, give them a quick mix and leave them to do their yeasty business for 10 minutes or so. You’ll know your yeast is active is the water gets foamy on the top. If it doesn’t get foamy, get some different yeast because your yeasty beasties are not active.

Ignore the strange lines – I used a clear bowl and it threw weird shadows around.

Once the yeast is foamy, add the olive oil and about 2 cups of flour. Mix partially then add the salt. Mix the dough until it’s smooth. Add more flour if you need to but do so sparingly – you don’t want heavy dough.

When the dough is smooth, pop it back into the bowl (I did a little kneading on the counter), and put it somewhere warm to rise. I put mine on the burner near the burner I was making the soup on so it got residual heat from that. Mine doubled in about 30 minutes.

Get a couple of baking sheets and line with silicon mats or parchment paper. Take the risen dough out of the bowl and cut it into 4 even pieces.

Press each of the four pieces out into 4 inch by 5 inch rectangles. Get a knife and cut into strips about 1 inch wide. You will have 4 pieces that are 1 inch wide by 5 inches long. Cut each of those pieces in half so you will have 8 pieces that are 1 inch wide by 2-1/2 inches long.

Roll or twist each of the pieces into a bit longer, rounder rope and tie into a knot. Place onto the baking sheet. You will end up with 32 knots.

Let the knots rise until doubled. Preheat your oven to 400F.

Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pan(s) in for 15 minutes.

While the knots are baking, make up the garlic sauce. Mince the garlic and put it, and the butter, into a small pan on the stove. Cook that garlic so it infuses the butter and loses that fierce raw garlic flavour. Add the parsley and add a little salt if you used unsalted butter. You could also use garlic powder if you have no fresh garlic. If you do, you really don’t have to cook it, just melt the butter for easier spreading.

When the knots have baked for their 15 minutes, take them out, give them a brush with the garlic butter and pop them in for another minute.

They came out a little crispy/chewy on the outside and soft on the inside – perfect for scooping up soup.

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