Pumpkin Garlic Knots

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good morning, everyone. I'm celebrating 300 posts today, 400 twitter followers, and only being 4 people away from 900 subscribers! (And I don't believe I mentioned last week that we made it onto Ellen's StumbleUpon -- and webpage! -- for "favorite vegan recipes" and our chocolate-peanut butter whoopie pies) Woah. A lot of milestones -- all at once! Of course, this calls for a bread recipe. Garlic knots, specifically. But not just any garlic knots: Pumkin Garlic Knots.

I developed this pumpkin dough recipe mostly for its moisture content. As you know, we like grilling pizza . . . but often the crust burns quickly due to lack of moisture. Throw in a little canned pumpkin, and the crust stays good and moist, with only a hint of extra flavor. This dough recipe makes enough for one pizza and one hefty order of garlic knots.

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (I used an herbed variety)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3-1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (I used King Arthur)

First, you'll need to make the dough:

Pour the warm water into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. Let sit until frothy -- about 10 minutes. Then add your agave nectar, olive oil, and pumpkin -- whisk until smooth.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. With you fist, make an impression in the center -- a "bowl" that's big enough to pour your wet ingredients into. Then pour in your wet ingredients.

Start pulling everything together with a spatula. When you can no longer mix, use your hands to start kneading the dough. Keep kneading -- and adding more flour as necessary -- until you have a ball that's elastic, but not sticky.

Lightly oil another large bowl and put your dough ball inside it -- flipping over once to coat both sides (again -- lightly) with oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours. Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, put in a pizza stone (you may use a pan, too, but it works best with a stone), and divide the dough into two equal pieces. If you're planning to use the other half the next day, just put it in a large Zip-Lock bag and store in the fridge. You may also freeze the dough for up to three weeks.

To create the garlic knots -- just take off sections of dough (about the size of two tablespoons, if that makes sense) and roll them into a snake shape. Then tie that snake in a knot. Set aside and continue with the rest of the dough. Once you've made all your knots, put them on your stone (or on your pan) and let bake until golden brown on the tops (anywhere between 10 and 15 -- or more -- minutes, depending on how big your knots are).

While you're waiting, in a large bowl mix together 1/3 cup olive oil with 3 to 5 cloves of minced garlic . . . as well as some salt, pepper -- and if you're feeling cheesy, Parmesan or nutritional yeast -- to taste. There's really no right or wrong mixture, just what you like. Feel free to taste test. When the knots are done, dump them into the bowl and mix well to coat. Stephen likes to crush the knots a bit to let the oil seep in.

Enjoy -- and check back tomorrow because I'll give you a super gourmet grilled pizza recipe that involves brie, a balsamic-tomato-walnut sauce, and lots of roasted veggies!

And if you haven't already -- go check out this month's Blog Love Fest. It's a special edition because we're not only sharing the links in a list this month. We're creating a categorized blogLOVEroll. For all the gooey details, just visit the BLF post.

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