Despite being a baker, I’ve never really spent much time making bread. I make some now and then, like:
But, when you scan through this blog, the majority of what you see is more confection than bread. It’s just not something I’ve done enough to be super comfortable with.
But, from time to time, a meal we make just needs some bread on the side. Whether it’s a soup or a pasta dish, or just a holiday meal with some dinner rolls, bread just makes sense.
Often, we’ll buy a loaf of bread from a local bakery and do something with it, like garlic bread. Other times we just buy some grocery store rolls. I’ve even gotten pretty good at whipping up a simple garlic bread using mini bagels.
Today, though, I wanted to make something I’ve always loved but never had the chance to really perfect until now: garlic knots.
Garlic knots are a relatively simple bread to make. The dough is easy to put together in a stand mixer, and the topping is just garlic butter with some fresh herbs added in. Even making the knots themselves isn’t all that difficult.
Bread Tip: If your bread ends up tasting a little floury, it’s one of two things: either there wasn’t quite enough moisture in the dough, or it didn’t proof long enough. Making another batch and improving both of those things, even just by a little, can make a ton of difference. It only took me a couple batches to perfect this recipe, and I’m sure you can too!
One big thing to know about bread recipes online, is that the proofing times are almost always short. Many professional bakers are working in warm, active kitchens, and usually in places with a decent amount of humidity. If your home kitchen is cooler (like you’re baking in winter) and the humidity is lower, it’ll take longer to properly proof a loaf. Just keep that in mind! People often say that baking bread is more science than art, but they’re more referring to specific measurements to get the chemistry right, not the timing.
In any case, here’s my simple Garlic Knots recipe. It’s easy to make, you can top it with as much or as little garlic-herb butter as you want, and they save pretty well if they survive (which they won’t; they’re too delicious.)
Garlic Knots with Basil
- Mixing Bowls
- Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
- Plastic Wrap
- Pastry Brush
For the Dough
- 2 Cups Bread Flour
- 2¼ Tsp Instant Dry Yeast one packet
- 1½ Tsp Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ¾ Cup Warm Water 105-115℉, don't get too hot
For the Garlic Butter
- 5 Tbsp Salted Butter
- 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Minced Basil fresh herbs work best
- Parmesan Cheese grated to taste
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In your stand mixer bowl, combine a cup of flour, the yeast, sugar, salt, and garlic powder, stirring to mix.
- Add in the water and olive oil, and mix until well combined.
- Slowly add more flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but is still a little sticky. Adjust with flour or water to get the right consistency; if the dough is too dry, the bread will be floury tasting.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a minute or two, just to make sure everything comes together. Form the dough into a ball.
- In a large bowl, drizzle some oil to coat the inside of the bowl. Add the dough ball and turn it to coat all sides with oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and place somewhere warm for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. If you don't have a warm enough place, I like to set the oven to warm for a few minutes, then turn it off and use the residual heat.
- Once the dough has risen, deflate it with your hands and transfer it back to a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into nine equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a rope about eight inches long, and tie each rope into a knot.
- Place each knot on the backing sheet and lightly brush with oil, then cover and let rise for another ten minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- Bake the knots for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are turning golden-brown.
- While baking, make the garlic butter. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes fragrant. Remove it from the heat, add in the basil, and give it a good mix.
- Finish the knots by brushing a liberal serving of garlic butter over each, then topping with grated Parmesan cheese.