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How to Make Garlic Knots

Why this recipe works Made from leftover pizza dough, buttery, supremely garlicky garlic knots are a pizzeria classic. Could we bring them home without the help of a pizza delivery driver? The pizza dough recipes we tried made knots that were too dry or too hard. We wanted something fluffier than pizza crust but chewier than dinner rolls. Substituting all-purpose flour for bread flour softened the knots, and kneading for about 8 minutes provided the right elasticity. To give our knots potent flavor, we first tried dousing them in garlic powder, which tasted artificial, and then in raw garlic, which was too harsh. So we sautéed minced garlic—nine cloves of it—in butter, which we brushed over the knots. We also stirred some of the butter and the reserved toasty garlic solids into the dough. Finally, brushing the knots with garlic butter during baking and again just after taking them out of the oven satisfied our garlic cravings. Knots can be stored in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped in aluminum foil before being placed in the bag, the knots can be frozen for up to 1 month. To reheat, wrap the knots (thawed if frozen) in foil, place them on a baking sheet, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

  • makes 12 knots
  • rising time 2 to 3 hours
  • baking time 10 minutes
  • total time 3¼ to 4¼ hours, plus 15 minutes cooling time
  • key equipment 8-inch skillet, rimmed baking sheet, pastry brush

how-to-make-garlic-knots

  • 9 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • coarse sea salt

1). Cook garlic, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon water in 8-inch skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is straw-colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in remaining butter until melted. Strain into bowl; reserve garlic solids.

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2). Whisk flour, yeast, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk remaining ¾ cup water, 1 tablespoon garlic butter, and garlic solids together in 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to mediumlow and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom, about 8 minutes.

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3). Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

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4). Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter. Press and stretch dough into 12 by 6-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge.

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5). Using pizza cutter or chef’s knife, cut dough vertically into 12 (6 by 1-inch) strips; cover loosely with greased plastic.

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6). Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), stretch and roll into 14-inch rope.

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7). Shape rope into U with 2-inch-wide bottom curve.

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8). Tie ends into single overhand knot, with 1½-inch open loop at bottom.

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9). Wrap 1 tail over loop and press through opening from top. Wrap other tail under loop and through opening from bottom. Pinch ends together to seal.

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10). Arrange knots pinched side down on prepared sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1 to 1½ hours. (Unrisen garlic knots can be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours; let garlic knots sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)

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11). Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bake knots until set, about 5 minutes. Brush with 2 tablespoons garlic butter, rotate sheet, and bake until knots are golden brown, about 5 minutes.

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12). Transfer knots to wire rack. Brush with remaining garlic butter, sprinkle with sea salt, and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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