Monday, August 1, 2011

Garlic & Herb Knots

It's not very often that I feature something savory on here..

But what better to break that streak with some garlicky herb knots perfect for a summer pasta?

I have to be honest, Mountain Man does a majority of the cooking in our household mostly because he is a phenomenal cook.

Watching him in the kitchen is like watching an athlete in the zone.. he just gets in there and goes at it. You never know what he's going to come up with and sometimes he doesn't either. That's why he does the cooking and I do the baking.

He doesn't do measuring's all by feel he says- everything is a new creation, a new set of flavors, going where the ingredients take him.

Baking is a whole different story: you need consistency, exact measurements, the perfect weights, precise cooking times.. it's all a science and I love that. I can make a cake over and over again and know its going to be wonderful every time; not to mention I can share my recipes with people and know they'll work.

When it is my turn to cook dinner I tend to stick with the same kind of dishes- pastas are my forte.

So after deciding to whip up some spaghetti with a fresh garden tomato sauce I thought what better to go with it than some garlic bread..

But not just any garlic bread, garlic & herb knots.

Garlic & Herb Knots
Bake time: 15-20 minute Oven: 400
Makes 16 rolls

1 cup milk
3 TBS butter
2 3/4- 3 1/2 cup AP flour (or whole wheat - I did half and half)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 egg
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS fresh basil, chopped (or dried)
1/2 TBS fresh oregano, chopped (or dried)

In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until very warm (about 120 degrees).
Pour warm milk into a large bowl and add 2 TBS of sugar and yeast. Allow yeast to activate (about 5 min) or until milk starts to get foamy.
Add 1 cup flour, 2 TBS sugar, salt, garlic salt and egg and mix at low speed until moistened.
Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
Stir in remaining flour, using just enough to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and continue to knead dough until smooth and elastic.
Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with saran wrap and let rise in a warm place (I turn my oven on, once it gets to 100 degrees I turn it off and then place my dough in the warm oven).
Let dough rise for about 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Punch dough down and on a well floured surface, toss dough until it is no longer sticky.

Now its time to make the knots.
Preheat oven to 400 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix oil, garlic, basil and oregano and set aside.
Divid dough into 16 equal parts.
Shape each piece into a long strip by rolling in between hands.

Tie in loose knots, being careful not to stretch the dough too much and place on cookie sheet.

Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each knot with garlic and herb mixture.

Cover lightly with saran wrap and return to warm place, allowing to rise again for about 30 minutes.
Place in oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until knots are golden brown.
Serve with your favorite pasta dish.

Happy Baking!!