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Whole Wheat Garlic Knots

March 11, 2010
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Shortly after I posted this recipe for No Excuses Yeast Bread, I entered a Give-a-Way at The Foodie BlogRoll

As a blogger, I am a member of that website – but there is much more going on than just blogging.  I encourage you all to head on over and check out that food-lovin’ website.

Anyway, I rarely enter giveaways on websites and blogs because, well, I never win.  The competition is stiff.  And the Omnivore and I have duly calculated the odds of my comment being drawn at random from a pool of hundreds (thousands).

We do things like that for fun.

And we decided that it quite frankly isn’t worth the time it takes for me to submit my comment (12 seconds?).  Yeah….right.  Really, I just kind of get tired of entering and never winning.  My ego gets bruised easily.

But despite the competition, I couldn’t not enter one of the giveaways at FoodBuzz.  Not only did the prize itself scream “BRANNY!,” but it came with free wheat flour and vital wheat gluten.

So I entered my comment.  Then I forgot about it (thank goodness, or else I’d be disappointed, again).  And then I received the email saying I was a winner.

I was amazed how thrilled I was considering most of the recipes from Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day are available online (provided by the authors, no less!) anyway.  But I was on cloud 9.  And I began to enter as many give-a-ways as I could.  And became disenchanted with them after not winning anymore.  But what I am NOT disenchanted with is this book.

These whole grain garlic knots are awesome.  And what’s more awesome?  The fact that you just pinch off some dough you have hanging out in your fridge to make them.  And, thus, they are always fresh, AND you have built-in portion control.

One Year Ago: Aloo Matar

1 batch mother dough (reproduced below)
1/4 cup olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic
healthy handful parsley, chopped

Pinch off apple-sized portions of mother dough.  Quickly form into a ball and then elongate that ball into a rope about 8″ long.  Try to retain as much gas within the dough as possible.  Let dough ropes rest at room temperature for 40 minutes covered by plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.

Lightly cook garlic and parsley in olive oil, adding more oil if the mixture looks dry.  Cook about 3-4 minutes.

Gently tie ropes into knots and allow to rest at room temperature while preheating the oven to 425* (if you have a baking stone, preheat that as well).    This should take about 30 minutes.  Also, place a shallow pan in the bottom of the oven.  It will be filled with 1 cup of water to create a steaming effect when baking the bread.

Just before baking, drizzle parsley/garlic/oil mixture over garlic knots.  Quickly place knots on baking stone and then fill pre-heated dish in the bottom of the oven with water.  Close oven door and allow to bake about 15 minutes.  For a soft crust, wrap cooked rolls in a light towel to cool.

Mother Recipe (for 4 lbs of dough, I halved this recipe by eff Hertzberg and Zoë François)
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp (2 packets) granulated yeast
1 tbsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
4 cups lukewarm water (Note: You can add a teaspoon of dried herbs to the water for herb-flavored breads.)
Cornmeal or parchment paper
1 to 2 tbsp whole seed mixture for sprinkling on top of the crust: sesame, flaxseed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy and/or anise (optional)

1. Measure the dry ingredients. Use dry-ingredient measuring cups (avoid 2 cup measures, which compress the flour) to gently scoop up flour, then sweep the top level with a knife or spatula. Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food-grade bucket. Lidded (or even vented) plastic buckets designed for dough storage are readily available.

2. Mix with water — kneading is unnecessary. Heat the water to slightly warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Add to the dry ingredients and mix without kneading, using a spoon, food processor (with dough attachment), or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You may need to get your hands wet to get the flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine. Don’t knead! It isn’t necessary.

You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough that remains loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.

3. Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (not airtight) or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), which will take about 2 hours. Longer rising times — even overnight — will not change the result. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. So, the first time you try our method, it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf.

After it’s been refrigerated, the dough will seem to have shrunk back upon itself. It will never rise again in the bucket, which is normal for our dough. Whatever you do, do not punch down this dough! With our method, you’re trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible, and punching it down knocks gas out and will make your loaves denser.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 3:22 pm

    Congrats on your win! I am so glad that you are enjoying the book.

  2. March 14, 2010 8:31 am

    YUM! These look great! Congrats on your win! I have the same feelings about entering those things because i too never win (along with 89313 people) I tried to go to the foodie blog roll, but the site is down.

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