For as much as I absolutely adore bread in all of its magnificent forms, I rarely make rolls. Sometimes I will make a batch of sweet dinner rolls to go with a pot of stew or chili, and for the holidays I used a basic bread recipe to make cloverleaf rolls for dinner. But outside of those examples, I really don’t do the whole roll thing. Possibly because when presented with a basket of rolls, I will devour way more than my fair share. They’re just too easy to eat in excess. If I make a loaf of bread, I really can’t justify to myself hacking off piece after piece unless I’m making a sandwich, toast, etc. There has to be ulterior motive. But rolls? Ahh, a much different story. I find absolutely nothing wrong with slathering a roll with butter, closing my eyes, and enjoying. Rinse, repeat. See the problem? So I usually require a specific reason to make rolls, but when I saw this garlic knots recipe all reason went out the window. The reason was the rolls. They were gorgeous and, as I suspected, also insanely delicious.
I shared a link to these in my Weekend Dish links roundup a few weeks ago, and it didn’t take me long to get right down to making them. These are pretty easy in terms of yeast and bread recipes. No stand mixer required – just your bare hands and some extra love and care. I’m sure it will take some practice to get the knotting technique down pat, and I’d be happy to practice by making batch after batch of these beauties. They are soft and light, and the garlic coating is packed with flavor. Be sure to check out the post over on White on Rice Couple – their pictures, as always, are gorgeous and you can see some photos of what the shaping should look like.
Do you have a favorite type of roll?
For the Dough:
5½ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ cups warm water (about 115 degrees F)
¼ cup olive oil
1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Garlic Coating:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Measure the flour into a large bowl; set aside. Combine the water, olive oil, yeast, sugar and salt in a large, 4-cup measuring cup or in a small bowl, mixing to dissolve the yeast. Pour the water mixture over the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all of the flour is moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two, adding additional flour or water if the dough it is too sticky or dry, until soft and just slightly tacky. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free area until doubled in size (this can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours).
2. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Working on a pastry mat or clean counter or table, oil the surface, your hands and a rolling pin. Divide the dough into two. Take the first half and gently press down on it, flipping it over and doing the same, to release gasses and flatten it. Using the rolling pin or your hands, shape the dough into a rectangle measuring about 5 inches by 16 inches, and ½-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, slice the rectangle into 5-inch by ¾-inch strips.
3. Sprinkle the strips with flour. Taking the strips one at a time, gently roll it back and forth to create an even rope. Tie it into a knot and place on a prepared baking sheet. Place the knots about 1½ inches apart. Continue to make the rest of the knots and repeat process with the second piece of dough. Cover the baking sheets with a dry kitchen towel or cheesecloth and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise. The rolls should double in size during the second rise.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Once the knots have doubled in size, remove the towel covering them and bake, one pan at a time, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
6. While the knots are baking, prepare the garlic coating. Over low heat, warm the olive oil, butter and garlic in a small saucepan. Add the chopped parsley, cover and set aside.
7. After removing the knots from the oven and while they are still warm, either brush them with the garlic coating, or place the knots in a large bowl and toss with the garlic coating. Season with additional sea salt to taste.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature. Baked rolls can be individually wrapped and frozen in an airtight freezer bag. Rewarm in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 minutes.