Roasted Garlic Knots
These rolls are essentially made from a tender pizza-style dough, spread with roasted garlic, cut into strips and rolled into knots. Thanks to their moist, tender texture and sweet garlic flavor, they really don't need any butter when served. Try them as a complement to a meal featuring a substantial soup like our Hearty Minestrone with Red Wine.
- 1 head garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 envelopes dry yeast
- 1-1/4 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
About 1-1/2 hours in advance, preheat the oven to 350°F.
With a sharp knife, trim about 1/4-inch off the top of the head of garlic - just enough to expose the interior of each clove. Drizzle with the olive oil and wrap loosely in aluminum foil. Roast for about an hour, until the garlic is soft and sweet. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Separate the cloves of garlic and gently squeeze the bottoms until the cloves pop out of the open ends. Place the roasted cloves in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and set aside.
Heat the water to 100°F to 110°F. Place the yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the warm water, honey and olive oil. Attach the dough hook and add 3 cups of the flour, salt and garlic powder. Begin mixing on medium-low to combine. Gradually add some of the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments (you may not need it all), until a soft dough forms. Continue kneading on medium-low speed for about 5 to 7 minutes (see recipe notes), adding in small amounts of flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand a few times on a floured surface until the texture is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a oiled bowl covered with a damp towel for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
Transfer the dough to a flat surface and roll or stretch to a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Spread the mashed, roasted garlic over the surface as evenly as possible.
With a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 12 strips, about 3/4-inch wide. Fold each strip in half, roasted garlic side in, then gently roll between your palms to form a ball, sealing the seams as best you can. The roasted garlic will end up both inside and outside the ball. Place the balls on greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown all over.
Makes 24 rolls
It's important not to overwork your dough, although it's easy to do when you're using a mixer. Try this simple test for best results: After you've been kneading the dough for about 5 minutes, stop and pull a small chunk of dough away from the rest. If it breaks right away, continue kneading for another minute or two and test again until it stretches to a thin, translucent "window" without tearing. At this point, the dough has reached its proper smooth and elastic consistency.