Saturday, February 25, 2012

I might make these again tonight

This week has been bonkers-busy.

First some work talk and then some warm bread. Warm bread wraps things up nicely, doesn't it? Well now I am just thinking about a blanket made out of warm bread... focus, Hannah, focus.

This week there were some early mornings. There were no days off. There were many fried sweet potato beignets, lemon meringue and strawberry banana pies. There was a plated dinner for 600 midweek and for that we made miniature (gluten free) chocolate cakes with raspberry coulis (fancy word for puree). Then came three days of prep and the final plating of 700 cheesecake trios for another plated event tonight.

Just another day at the office.

There was more to this past week than just work. There was bread! The warm bread that I promised earlier. Specifically, garlic knots.

I fell in love with garlic knots at Rukus, a restaurant/bar Jeff and I go to. I particularly enjoy their spicy, homemade ginger ale cocktails and the garlic knots with marinara sauce.

I have been known to eat a bowl of marinara sauce for dinner. As long as I have warm bread to go along with it, life is good and I am a happy woman.

Rukus' knots are fried (bless their hearts.) I decided to bake mine.

Imperfectly knotted (and yet still totally wonderful) dough.

These are a little blond because I like when bread is a bit doughy... don't judge. After they are baked to your preferred doneness, the knots are tossed in a mixture of homemade compound herb butter, olive oil and minced garlic.

And seconds after this image was captured, there were none.

ps. This would make a great pizza crust

Garlic Knots

(makes 8 small rolls)
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1/2 packet)
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 c AP flour, flus more for dusting cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil (and 1 more for garlic sauce)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
water (to mist knots)
handful of grated cheese (I used an Italian 3 cheese blend)
scant 1/4 c compound herb butter (or plain butter with about 2 tablespoons chopped herbs added); melted
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Allow yeast and sugar to dissolve in warm water until bubbly (about 5 min).
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt together, make a well and then add yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon oil
3. Mix well with a fork and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes to develop gluten (this will give the bread a nice, chewy texture)
4. Place dough in a medium, greased bowl (flip once to coat top with oil), cover with a kitchen towl and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 -1 1/2 hours (until dough has doubled)
5. Make your knots! Roll dough into a square 1/4" thick and cut into 1/2" strips; tie a knot in the middle of each strip and then twist ends around/under the knot (there is no perfect way to explain this, trial and error folks...)
6. Place finished knots onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a towl and allow to rest for an additional 20-30 minutes
7. Preheat oven to 375
8. Spray knots lightly with water and sprinkle with cheese
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until rolls/cheese lightly brown (or a few longer if you want darker rolls, I like mine a little doughy)
10. As rolls are baking, melt compound butter and add additional 1 tablespoon oil and garlic to saucepan.
11. Place freshly baked knots into a large bowl and toss with warm garlic mixture to coat
12. Serve with marinara sauce

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