When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey, one of my absolute favorite after-school treats would be to walk over to Ferraro's, dig through my pockets for loose change and buy some garlic knots — garlicky, buttery rolls made from stray bits of pizza dough. At 25 cents apiece, I could buy a lotta knots with a little change.
Garlic knots are a pizzeria favorite, and in New Jersey, their presence was a sign that the pizza joint you just walked into was legit.
Garlic Knots, a Thrifty Way To Use Dough Scraps
Making knots is a thrifty way to use scraps of dough and the leftover garlic-butter-parsley sauce most pizzerias would use for their white pizzas or garlic bread.
Over the years I've seen people make gigantic garlic knots the size of croissants, but that seems weird to me. The knots of my youth could fit into the palm of your hand with ease. Eating eight of them at a sitting was no trouble at all.
The Magic of Garlic Knots
What are they like? Crusty on the outside, light as air within. Chewy, and almost sour—most garlic knots I remember were made with old pizza dough that was already thinking about fermenting.
The garlic-soaked butter (some places used olive oil) got all over your hands; I'd smell like Ferraro's for hours after eating them, and if I didn't finish my supper that night my mom would know why.
A big basket of garlic knots is a great party treat, and is pretty easy to make if you use premade pizza dough. Be warned: Make twice as many as you think you'll need.
You'll find yourself reaching for another without thinking, and so will your guests. And if you have a New Jersey native in the house, make a triple batch. I ate half of this recipe at one sitting.
Watch This Delicious Garlic Knots Recipe
How To Properly Measure Flour
It really helps to use a kitchen scale for measuring the flour. If you don't have a scale, use the scoop and level method of measuring the flour:
- Lightly fluff the flour in its container.
- Scoop or spoon the flour into the measuring cup.
- Level it off with a flat edge, such as the back of a table knife. Do not pack the flour or tap the cup.
Using Store Bought Pizza Dough
There's no shame in using store bought pizza dough. It gets dinner on the table faster. If frozen, thaw the dough and then proceed to step 4.
5 More Pizza Parlor Favorites To Make at Home
It is perfectly OK to use store-bought pizza dough here. One 14-ounce package of pizza dough will approximate this recipe.
You can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour will give you a crisper crust.
If you are making your own dough:
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
7/8 cup (207ml) warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 1/4 cups (300g) bread flour, plus more for flouring the work surface and your hands
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl and brushing the knots
OR, if you are using store-bought pizza dough:
14 ounces pizza dough
Garlic butter coating:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Proof the yeast:
Stir the yeast and sugar into a small bowl with the warm water and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until it starts to foam.
If the mixture foams up, this means the yeast is alive and active. If not, it means the yeast is dead and you'll need to get a new package of yeast. It always helps to check the use-by date on yeast.
Make the dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil, then the yeast-sugar-water mixture.
Mix this together to form a soft dough and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. (You can use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook for this step. If you knead by hand, it will take longer.)
The dough should be soft and tacky. If it is too dry, add another 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
Let the dough rise:
With well-floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil. Put it in a large bowl, top the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a sunny spot to rise to double its size. This should take anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours.
Alternatively you can put it in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours to rise slowly (and develop more flavor).
Quarter the dough and flatten into rectangles:
When the dough has doubled in size, cut it into fourths.
At this point you if you want to make the dough ahead and freeze, wrap the dough quarters in plastic wrap and freeze for later. Defrost overnight in the fridge to use.
Set out 2 large baking sheet and line them with a silicone liner or parchment paper (spray parchment paper with some baking spray).
Flour your work surface and your hands. Working with one piece at a time, flatten into rough 4 x 5-inch rectangles.
Slice the dough rectangles into strips:
Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, slice each dough rectangle into 4 long strips (1 x 5-inches).
Cut these strips in half in the middle. You should now have 8 (1 x 2.5-inch) strips.
Form the knots:
Take 1 piece at a time and work it into the shape of a snake.
Then tie it in a knot.
Set each knot down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Remember that the dough will rise, so leave some space between each knot.
Brush with the olive oil and let rise:
Once all the knots are tied, brush them with a little olive oil.
Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again until doubled in size, anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours or so.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
While the garlic knots finish proofing, preheat the oven.
Bake the knots:
Uncover the knots and bake in the oven until nicely browned on top, 12 to 15 minutes.
Make the garlic butter parsley glaze:
While the garlic knots are baking, melt the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently just long enough to take off that raw garlic edge, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salt and parsley and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Brush the knots with butter mixture:
When the knots are done, take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Paint with the garlic-butter-parsley mixture and serve. These are best warm, but are good at room temperature, too.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||3%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|