By Kelly Jaggers
Garlic Knots – Yeast-Risen Rolls with a Buttery, Garlic Herb Topping. Nostalgic, Family-Inspired Recipe.
My friend Kelly Jaggers is back with another wonderful recipe and this time it’s savory! I absolutely love Kelly’s nostalgic take on family cooking. ~ Tori
When I was a child I was addicted to bread. In many ways I still am, but these days I am a bit more discerning. Back then it didn’t matter what kind of bread, I loved it any way it came. Biscuits, tortillas, rolls, or just slices of white bread, I did not discriminate. If there was a bread basket on the table you could rest assured I would help myself, liberally, and if I could have only eaten bread and butter, I would have been the happiest girl on earth! My mom got wise to my antics pretty fast and usually bread became my reward for eating my vegetables. Talk about a struggle for a small, carb addicted child!
My mom would occasionally make loafs of homemade bread, but for the most part we would just buy rolls from the market. I recall during my childhood that Thanksgiving at my Aunt Ruby’s house would always feature store-bought brown and serve butter flake rolls. I truly loved them because they were the perfect conduit for butter!
It wasn’t until I left home and started experimenting in the kitchen that I really found my love of bread making. As you might imagine, one of my favorite courses in culinary school was Breads and Rolls. I learned how to make and shape a variety of different breads. While I have never worked in a bakery, I keep my skills in good practice baking at home. I have become the resident roll maker in my family and any gathering or celebration usually means I am baking rolls. I don’t mind at all. I enjoy the process of bread making immensely.
Over the last fifteen years I have collected many delicious yeast roll recipes. The collecting of recipes is a hobby in itself, and I love discovering new recipes and trying them out. Unfortunately, my family prefers lightly sweet soft white rolls best, so I don’t usually experiment on them. While they are not keen on having me change up the bread recipe, they are not adverse to flavored toppings. Typically I brush my rolls with melted butter, but I like to spruce them up with various toppings for different occasions. Variety is the spice of life!
One of my favorite toppings came to me by way of an old charity cookbook in my collection. This recipe is for garlic knots using frozen rolls with a garlic herb butter topping. The topping is slightly different from most garlic knot toppings as it doesn’t call for parsley. The author calls for fresh chives and a little fresh dill. The mixture of herbs stands up quite well to the garlic without being overpowering. I added a little dusting of grated parmesan cheese to further amplify the flavor, and to add a bit of salty kick.
Forming the rolls into knots means there are additional nooks and crevices for the buttery topping to settle into, and they make a nice presentation in your bread basket. If it makes your life easier to simply make round rolls and brush this over the top you can. I would recommend that you bake the rolls closer together, spacing them an inch apart on your baking sheet, so they become pull apart rolls. Doing this will give the garlic butter topping creases where it can settle in between the rolls.
You can also make these rolls ahead and freeze them. Once the dough has been shaped you can pop them onto a tray in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the rolls to a zipper bag and store for up to a month. When you are ready to bake place the frozen rolls on a parchment lined sheet and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before baking. This makes the rolls an easy fix, especially when you have a party, holiday dinner, or pot luck to cook for.
Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
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- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 whole clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Begin by preparing the rolls. In a medium saucepan heat the milk over medium-low heat until it starts to steam lightly, or measures 100°F on an instant read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Transfer the milk to a bowl and add the sugar and yeast. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 minutes.
- In the work bowl of a stand mixer combine the yeast mixture with the salt, ¼ cup butter, egg, and both flours. Mix with the dough hook on low speed for 3 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and let mix for 8 minutes. The dough may appear very wet, that is what you want.
- Once the dough has finished mixing turn out onto a well floured work surface and shape the dough into a smooth ball. Place into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic, and allow to double in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Once the dough has risen turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and press out the excess gas with your palms. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 10x15-inches.
- With a pizza wheel or a sharp knife cut the dough into 12 long strips vertically, then cut the dough in half horizontally.
- Gently roll each strip into a cylinder.
- Then tie them into a knot.
- Place the bread knots onto a parchment lined baking sheet making sure to leave at least 2 inches between each roll so they have room to expand without touching. Cover the tray with plastic, and allow them to rise for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Bake the knots for 18-22 minutes, or until the knots are golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms.
- While the knots bake prepare the topping. In a small skillet melt the butter along with the herbs and garlic over medium heat. Once the butter sizzles turn the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the garlic and herbs are fragrant. Set aside to cool while the rolls finish baking.
- Pull the rolls from the oven and immediately brush with the butter mixture. Sprinkle each knot with parmesan cheese. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm.