Recipe: Easy Cheesy Garlic Knots

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Garlic Knots

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Meghan Splawn
Feb 28, 2018
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Garlic knots are easy to love. These tender pillows of yeasted bread are doused with garlicky, herby butter and are just about the very best thing you can serve as part of Wednesday night dinner. Yes, I said Wednesday! Yes, you can bake yeast rolls on a weeknight! Even better? These beauties are filled with soft, gooey cheese, turning them from everyday to extraordinary with hardly a minute of extra prep time added.

This recipe might look lengthy, but here's how we are going to do it: Make a quick yeast dough, put together a little garlic butter, and tie a few knots. If you start the dough now, you can be swirling fresh baked rolls into a warm garlic butter in about an hour.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

For Faster Yeast Rolls, Use Plenty of Yeast

These garlic knots are built on the back of our one-hour dinner rolls, which have a full tablespoon of yeast and plenty of sugar to feed it. In order to produce a quick rise and lots of yeasty flavor, you'll need plenty of it. Active dry yeast is what we keep on hand for everyday baking; be wary of substituting instant yeast here in the small proportion, as it will make the dough rise faster than you can shape it.

Weeknight Baking

Why should Saturday and Sunday have all the baking fun? Especially when a few deft mixing methods and some ingredient shortcuts can make biscuits, breads, and cakes a part of any day of the week. Weeknight Baking is our ode to the quick baking that can be done on even the most harried Thursday night.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Knots

Makes 12 knots

  • 1 1/2 cups

    lukewarm whole milk

  • 1/4 cup

    vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    active dry yeast

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 4 cups

    all-purpose flour, divided, plus more shaping

  • 1 large

    egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    salt, divided

  • 4 ounces

    mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 cubes

  • 1 stick (4 ounces)

    unsalted butter

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the milk, oil, sugar, yeast, and garlic powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes to give the yeast a bubbly jump start. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Add 3 cups of the flour, the egg, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the yeast mixture and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup flour and mix on medium speed until a sticky dough forms, 10 to 15 minutes.

Generously flour a work surface. Scrape the sticky dough onto the work surface and divide into 12 equal portions (about 2 3/4 ounces each).

Tie each portion into a loose knot: stretch and roll one piece of the dough into 6-inch rope. Fold the ends over each other and tuck one inside the other, making a loose knot. Nestle one piece of mozzarella in the center of the knot. Repeat with the remaining dough and mozzarella.

Arrange 6 knots on each of the prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and less wrinkly, but not quite doubled in size.

Bake until golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the garlic butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour the garlic butter into a large bowl.

Remove the rolls from the oven and let cool for 3 minutes. Once the rolls are still warm but cool enough to handle, transfer all them to the bowl of garlic butter. Use a large spoon to gently toss and coat the knots in the garlic butter. Transfer to a serving platter, pour any extra garlic butter over the top of the rolls, and serve warm with lots of napkins.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: After shaping, the knots can be covered with plastic wrap on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while the oven is heating to take the chill off. Bake as directed above. They can also be frozen, transfered to a freezer zip-top bag, and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Bake directly from frozen at 300°F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Storage: Leftover rolls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes.

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