A classic Italian pizzeria snack, garlic knots are strips of pizza dough tied in a knot, baked, and then topped with melted butter, garlic and parsley.
Garlic knots are the ultimate Italian pizzeria snack. They’re a cousin to garlic bread, which is topped with butter and garlic. But in the case of garlic knots, the dough is turned into long strips that are then woven into a knot and baked to a crispy golden brown. Once they’re out of the oven, they’re brushed with more melted butter — this time mixed with parsley — for an extra burst of flavor. You can also top them with salt and pepper or add herbs for variety (rosemary or thyme would be great).
If you want to skip the knots and make traditional garlic bread, it’s pretty simple: Take a loaf of Italian or French bread, slice it in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, slather on some butter and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and bake until crisp. After it comes out of the oven, slice it into pieces for serving.
The only trick to making great garlic knots is making sure your dough stays moist enough that you can stretch it into long strips. You may need to add extra water as you are kneading.
- 7/8 cup (207ml) warm water (105°F to 115°F)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
- 2 1/4 cups (300g) bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
OR, if you are using store-bought pizza dough:
- 14 ounces of pizza dough
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
If you are making your own dough, follow the steps.
If using store-bought pizza dough, let thaw to room temperature and proceed to step 4.
- Proof the yeast:
Stir the yeast and sugar into a small bowl with the warm water and let it sit for 3-5 minutes until it starts to foam. (If it 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.) Mix this together to form a soft dough and knead for 5-10 minutes.
- Let the dough rise:
With well-floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and lightly coat it 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 for up to 24 hours to rise slowly (and develop more flavor).
- Quarter the dough and flatten it into rectangles:
When the dough has doubled in size, cut it into fourths. (At this point 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 sheets and line them with a silicone liner or parchment paper (spray parchment paper with some baking spray). Working with one piece at a time, flatten into rough 4×5-inch rectangles.
- Slice the dough rectangles into strips
- Form knots.
Take one piece at a time and work it into the shape of a snake.
- Brush with olive oil and let sit to rise
- Bake the knots.
Uncover the knots and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned on top
- Make garlic butter parsley glaze.
- Brush cooked knots with garlic parsley butter mixture