Thursday, September 25, 2014

New & Improved Easy Garlic Knots

Sometimes you need to improve on an old classic.  That's what I did a few weeks ago with my garlic knot recipe.  The original was just fine, but after a few years of making them, I could be better.

The tweaks to the recipe were very simple.  I just allowed the dough to rise a second time and it produced a softer and better texture garlic knot.  I also used a little extra garlic butter when brushing them out of the oven, and that never hurt nobody ;)

recipe for the dough

1 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 to 3 c. all purpose flour

Simply dissolve the yeast in warm water with honey.  Set aside and allow the yeast to bloom (or wake up a bit) and get foamy.  In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, pour yeast mixture in with olive oil.  Add the flour, about 2 1/2 cups to start, and begin to knead on low (speed 1 or 2).  Add salt and continue to kneed for about 8 to 10 minutes.  If the dough climbs, up the dough hook, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time.  The dough should pull away from the bowl and be soft and smooth, not sticky.

Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and allow to rise for 2 to 3 hours. 

On a floured surface cut the dough into fourths.  Working with one fourth at a time, roll into a rectangle about 12 inches by 5 inches.  Cut the rectangle into 5 or 6 pieces lengthwise. 

Roll each strip into a little flour to remove tackiness, and tie into a knot.  Place onto greased baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough.  Cover with a towel and allow to double in size, about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray the tops of the knots with cooking spray.  If you want to add cheese, do it now.  Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the knots are baking, melt a stick of butter with 1 tbsp. minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. parsley.  As soon as the knots come out of the brush them liberally with melted butter mixture.  Serve immediately by themselves or with marinara!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day of School Jitters

Heart palpitations, sweaty palms, butterflies in the tummy....yep all those things were present this morning at our house.  While you may think it was the boys, you would be wrong, it was me.  It's not a huge secret that I don't like the first day of school.  I miss my babies so much, and I have a really hard time with the silence.

I don't always deal well with those emotions.  I am a type A, highly sensitive person who likes routine and consistency.  In my head I know that we are embarking on a new routine, and in due time I will be just fine.  It's just those first few days, that really throw me for a loop. 

So how did I do today?  Well, first to stop myself from emotional eating, I kept very busy.  I cleaned like crazy (that would be my go to therapy when I feel out of control), I did laundry, mowed the lawn, and now I am blogging.  I believe the vacuuming and mowing the lawn helped with the silence issue ;)

My emotions have settled a bit as I look at the clock that is reading 2:30 p.m.  Ok, I can do this.... one more hour.  I will be so excited to hear about their first day.  Hopefully dinner conversation tonight is filled with giggles, stories, and perhaps the mention of meeting a new friend or two.

Tomorrow will be better and Friday even better.  To all the other parents who share my jitters, hang in there :)