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Monday, January 19, 2015
Fluffy Rosemary Garlic Knots
Finally another bread recipe! I had gotten out of the habit of making bread for awhile. It used to be relaxing but then it became a bit of a chore and would wear me out. It's time consuming, takes up the entire counter, and if I don't get started early enough we wind up waiting for the bread to bake while dinner gets cold.
But the truth is, it's not so much the actual baking that wears me out. I love baking bread, really I do. It's mostly the cleaning up after that gets me. There's the mixer bowl, the paddle attachment, the dough hook, the measuring cups, the bowl I use to proof the bread, and the pan it bakes on to clean, plus whatever I wind up dirtying in the process of making dinner. It's just more than I have the patience to clean, especially when so much of it can't go in the dishwasher.
Then comes a day when I don't have to cook dinner. We have cereal for breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, and then dinner time comes and someone else is cooking. Those are my favorite days to make bread.
Let's face it, homemade bread is pretty impressive. For all its simplicity (I mean it's basically flour, water, and yeast) so many people are intimidated by the process of bread baking. When you show up to a dinner party or family dinner with a bowl full of freshly baked (usually still warm in my case) bread people act like you're a domestic goddess.
This bread is absolutely delicious. The knots are soft and fluffy, the rosemary smells amazing (and so does the house when it bakes), and they get bonus points for looking so fancy. I love the rosemary, I love the seasoned garlic butter on top, I love the way the knots pull apart when you eat them, I just love this bread!
One note before I get to the recipe: I did not take step by step photographs of the knot tying process. If you need step by step instructions for shaping the knots take a look at this post, and while you're at it give the honey yeast knots a try too. These garlic knots are ideal to pair with an Italian feast (lasagna, spaghetti, stuffed shells, etc.) but the honey yeast knots go with almost everything else and make great sandwich buns as well.
Fluffy Rosemary Garlic Knots
Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting (Annie uses bread flour but all purpose works fine for me)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (that's one envelope/packet)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water (105-115 degrees)
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (could substitute oregano)
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, salt, rosemary, and yeast and stir with a rubber (silicone) spatula.
Add the olive oil, water, and milk and fit the paddle attachment into the mixer.
Mix on low until the ingredients are mostly combined.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on a low speed for about 5-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
I sometimes need to throw a little more flour into the bowl about halfway through if it looks like it's getting too sticky. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand a few times and then form the dough into a ball.
Place the ball of dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel.
Leave it in a warm, draft free spot to rise for about 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Punch the dough down gently with your knuckles, pressing out as many of the air bubbles as you can.
Divide the dough into 12 roughly equal balls, roll each ball into a snake, tie it in a knot and tuck the ends into the center. Place the knots 1-2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean towel and allow the knots to rise for another 30-45 minutes, until they are puffy and nearly double in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the melted butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl and spoon or brush over the top of the rolls.
Bake for 15-18 minutes (if you happen to use silicone baking mats like I did you'll need to give them an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven, I'm not sure why but that's what I've learned from experience.) or until the tops are lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly (but not too much) before serving and enjoy with your favorite Italian meal.