When I first came to Ohio, I was shocked by its pizzerias’ lack of garlic knots or anything remotely resembling them. Upon asking my Midwestern friends, I was met with quizzical faces. Imagine my befuddlement when I found out that not only can I not get garlic knots outside of New York, but no one even knows what they are. Clearly, the only solution (apart from returning to New York and never leaving again) was to make them myself.
Luckily for me, my dad’s business used to be next door to the best pizzeria in town while I was growing up, and he had observed them making these knots of garlicky, buttery goodness many times. He was able to give me a rough overview of the process, and I think I’ve been able to perfect it since. I will warn you that these may not be exactly like the garlic knots you’re used to, since different pizza places do them differently. I will assert, however, that these are delicious.
You will need the following ingredients:
For the garlic knots:
- 16 oz. refrigerated pizza dough (buy it pre-made or make your own if you’re feeling more ambitious than I was)
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (I find that the cheap kind that comes in a shaker works best for these, but the good stuff will work too)
- 1 large clove garlic (more if you like to feel the burn)
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
For baking ambiance:
- I’ve had the urge to listen to the Foo Fighters ever since I saw a picture of Dave Grohl playing guitar on a throne of rock with a broken leg a few weeks ago. Making these garlic knots didn’t take very long, so I didn’t even get all the way through One By One. Other good suggestions for filling your kitchen with Foo Fighters include In Your Honor and Colour & The Shape. If anyone’s listened to Sonic Highways, let me know what you think of it!
Now that I’ve (hopefully) gotten you all psyched up for garlic knots, let’s make some!
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
In a small bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Crush the clove of garlic in a garlic press and stir it into the butter along with 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese until it makes a bit of a paste.
Roll out your pizza dough into a (roughly) 6″ by 18″ rectangle. If you can get it to stretch more, you can make it a longer rectangle, and you might possibly be able to get more knots out of it.
Cut the dough into two 3″ by 18″ strips using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
Spread half of the butter mixture down the middle of one strip of dough. Repeat on the other strip of dough with the remaining butter.
Carefully roll each dough strip into a long rope.
Tie a knot in the end of one of the ropes, stretching the rope a little while you tie to maximize your yield. I prefer to leave my ends short, but I have seen garlic knots that have longer ends, so do whatever you like best. Cut the knot off the rope with kitchen shears or a sharp knife and repeat until you have used up both ropes.
Arrange the garlic knots in a greased baking dish of your choice (I used a 9″ round cake pan). Bake the knots for 12-15 minutes, just until the tops start to brown.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush it over the top of the garlic knots.
Bake the knots for 3-5 minutes more until the tops are fully browned.
Immediately sprinkle the tops with the remaining Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning (so it sticks).
Let them cool for about 15 minutes (I know, the way your kitchen smells right now is making that hard), and enjoy a taste of New York!
You can download the PDF recipe here: Garlic Knots