Most garlic knot recipes have two distinct steps: (1) roll the dough, cut, tie, and bake, and (2) make the garlic sauce and toss as the knots come out of the oven.
The problem is, they taste like crunchy pizza dough smothered in sauce. Good garlic knots are flakey and infused with garlic.
It took several weeks in the kitchen, dozens of homemade and store bought pizza doughs and the prolonged stench of garlic to figure it out.
One day, in an act of frustration, I drenched the knots in garlic sauce before they baked — almost like a marinade. It was worth a shot, right?
I used to make these all the time - for a while it was the only thing I’d bring to parties, make at dinners and occasionally make just for the sake of making.
And now, for the first time ever, the recipe is public.
You can buy pizza dough at the grocery store or your favorite pizza establishments (out of the two, I recommend the latter). Or if you're feeling ambitious, make it yourself. There are ample recipes online. Use your favorite. Here's one I like.
- 3c all purpose flour
- 1/8c olive oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1c water
- 1 package (1/4oz) fast rising yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside to proof for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Mix eggs into yeast mixture. Pour liquid ingredients into dry and mix until a soft sticky dough forms.
Place dough on a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until no longer sticky. This may require a little more flour.
Place in a well oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
The garlic sauce
- 3/4c olive oil
- 6-12 garlic cloves, minced and/or crushed (quantity depends on how much garlic your palate can handle)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2c finely chopped fresh parsley and/or oregano
- 3/4c Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
Whisk the olive oil, melted butter, chopped garlic, chopped herbs and salt in a small bowl. Set aside the cheese.
Note: these quantities can be imprecise, especially the butter to olive oil ratio. Sometimes I use entirely olive oil.
Making the magic happen
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets
Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, gently roll out the dough into a rough 10-inch square.
Cut the square in half using a pizza wheel or large knife, then cut each half crosswise into about 15, 2/3-inch wide strips.
Roll out and cut the remaining dough. Gently tie each strip into a knot. If the ends of the dough hang out, tuck them underneath
Arrange each knot 1-inch apart on baking sheets.
Using a pasty brush or spoon, coat each knot with copious amounts of garlic sauce.
Bake, switching positions of the sheets in the oven halfway through, until golden, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Immediately after baking, toss with cheese, and if there is any leftover, more garlic sauce.
Enjoy, and don't kiss anyone for at least 24 hours.
Photo by Kirk J Miller