Saturday, February 9, 2019

Rosie Is In Knots. Bread Knots, That Is.

A little Hawthornelet asked me could I make garlic knots.
Of course!
So I did.
Here's my recipe:

Rosie's Garlic Parmesan Knots
3/4 cup water
1 package yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 TB oil
about 2 cups bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt

Pour water into a medium bowl and sprinkle yeast over surface, then sugar over yeast.  Let it sit until yeast "proofs."  That means the yeast "proves" it's alive by eating the sugar (Yeast is hungry!) and getting bubbly and foamy from producing carbon dioxide and alcohol.

When the yeast is poofy (That's the official culinary term - poofy.), start forking in the flour and salt.  Add in the flour gradually and form the dough into a ball.  Go easy when adding the second cup.  You probably won't need all the flour - just enough to form a soft, pliable ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead away for about 5 minutes.   It's simple:  if dough is too wet, sprinkle in more flour;  if dough is too stiff and dry, dampen your hands and keep working it.   Oil a bowl then place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover and let rise until doubled.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.  Cut into quarters, then each quarter into 4 1 x 5 inch lengths.  Let rest about 10-15 minutes, then take each strip and tie into a knot.  Place on oiled baking sheet.  Cover and let rise.

In a small saucepan, melt 3 TB unsalted butter with 2 minced garlic cloves.
Brush each knot with the butter and garlic mixture.
If you happen to have some nice "finishing" salts, sprinkle a bit over each knot.  I used Hawaiian Alaea Red Sea Salt and Murray River Gourmet Pink Salt Flakes.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and oregano over knots.

Bake in a 350° oven for about 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through.  They should be a light golden brown.

Serve with a nice marinara sauce.

For the marinara sauce:
1 TB oil
1-2 TB chopped bell pepper
1-2 TB chopped onion
1 small can tomato paste
garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sugar, to taste
1-2 TB oregano, to taste
pinch or so kosher salt, to taste

In a small sauce pan, heat the oil, then add pepper and onion.  Sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then scrape the tomato paste into the pan.  Wash the can out with water 3 times and add to the pan.  Whisk until smooth.  Set heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally.  Add in the garlic, sugar, oregano, and salt.  Cook about 30 minutes.  Taste test!  Adjust seasonings accordingly.

That's the way I fix my dipping sauce, which I also use on pizzas.
Mr. Hawthorne makes his a bit differently.  He doesn't use the chopped pepper and onion and minced garlic.  He uses granulated garlic and onion powder.  Maybe a teaspoon of each.

Just experiment and make a good, flavorful sauce.

For the step-by-steps:
Proof the yeast.  This is "poofy."

Add in the flour.

Add the oil...

...and the salt.

Fork the ingredients...

... and work it into a nice, soft ball.

Place in oiled bowl, cover, and put in warm place.

Let rise until doubled or more.

Place dough on lightly floured work surface.

Roll dough into an 8 x 10 inch rectangle.

Cut into quarters.

Cut quarters into quarters.
Let rest for a bit.

Then twist tie.

Place ties on lightly oiled baking sheet.

And let rise.

Brush with melted butter and garlic mixture.

Sprinkle with a "finishing" salt.
What is a finishing salt, you ask?  Finishing salts are all-natural, un-refined salts, unlike table and kosher salts which go through a refining process, removing distinct natural minerals which contribute to their unique characters.   Salt, like wine, is a product of its environment.  Where and how the salt is harvested will affect its taste, color, and texture.  Finishing salts retain their individual tastes.  As such, they don't go into your food.  They go onto it.  Finishing salts are an enhancement - they add character, voice, and texture - a subtle kick, if you will. 
This is Hawaiian Red Alaea salt.

This is Australian Murray River salt.

Next, give the knots some Parmesan and oregano love.

And bake.

Light golden.


No comments: