A wise chef once said everyone should have a ball of pizza dough in their refrigerator—and I think that’s doubly true for sourdough. The recipe I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon has so much going for it. It’s straightforward, relatively quick (for a low-knead, long-ferment dough), and has so many uses, including one of my new favorite recipes: garlic knots.
You can make this dough with bubbly active starter that’s begging to be used, or you can make it with lackluster starter that wants to be refreshed before you attempt bread. The dough can sit in the fridge for up to 3 days and bake up beautifully; it also freezes well. All you need is some flour (I use two types for better flavor, but you can stick with just all-purpose), water (unchlorinated is best), salt, and starter.
How do you get starter? I’m giving away my personal starter to help you jump-start your sourdough adventures. The 5th Annual Sourdough Giveaway runs through January 31.
You can request my starter here. I share details about my starter and how to care for it here.
Once you have your starter, you can learn more about using it and get the complete recipe for Sourdough Pizza Dough in my column.
From Dough to Knots
Once you have some balls of pizza dough made from your sourdough starter, you’re hardest decision is how to use it. I scaled the dough recipe for three 12-inch pizzas because it keeps the ratios simple and that size is easy to manipulate on and off my baking stone. But in my household of two, I usually only bake two pizza balls at a time, which gives us one fresh meal and one of leftovers. The remaining dough may head to the freezer for a quick meal or get rolled into a new treat. My newest favorite technique turns that dough ball into garlic knots.
Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You just need a ball of dough, butter, and some seasonings, plus I recommend a tomato sauce for dipping.
1. Shape the knots and let them rise.
2. Mix and brush on the topping.
3. Bake, brush on any remaining topping, and enjoy.
Sourdough Garlic Knots
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon flaky kosher salt, or to taste
Grilled Tomato Pizza Sauce for serving
Let chilled dough rest on a lightly floured surface for 10–20 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and 1 inch thick. Tie each rope into a knot, tucking the ends underneath, and place each knot on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with another piece of parchment paper, and let rise at room temperature for 1–1-1/2 hours, until puffy.
Stir together the butter, garlic, parmesan, oregano, and basil. Lightly brush the garlic butter over the shaped knots. Transfer the knots to a preheat baking stone and bake uncovered at 400°F for 15–20 minutes, until golden.
Remove the knots from the oven, and return them to the parchment paper. Brush with the remaining garlic butter, and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm with Grilled Tomato Pizza Sauce. Makes 6 knots.
Tips & Tricks
- Cold-smoked Parmesan and homegrown fresh or dried herbs upgrade this recipe, but you can use store-bought as needed. The same goes for the pizza sauce—although once you try my recipe, I bet you’ll be hooked.
- The longer the knots rise before baking, the puffier they’ll be. This can give a lighter, fluffier interior, but they’ll lose some of their shape as they rise.
- If you’re feeling too lazy to bother with a fresh-garlic topping, a sprinkling of savory sea salt makes a delicious substitute. I’ve enjoyed these with black garlic infused salt available from Trovare in Whitefish, Montana, and madrona smoked salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt in Friday Harbor, Washington.
- Garlic knots taste best as soon as they’re out of the oven and cool enough to eat. If you have extras, they’ll keep in a refrigerated airtight container for a few days. Reheat them in a toaster oven before serving warm; you can cover them with foil if you’re concerned about burning the toppings. You can also bake, freeze, wrap in foil, and then reheat these knots in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. I like to brush them again with a little butter when I pull them from the oven.
Twice as Tasty
Besides baking and grilling sourdough pizza, I put sourdough pizza dough to use in many other ways. Here are just a few other recipes based on pizza dough that you’ll find on the blog. You can find more in the recipe index.
You can also learn more about caring for and using your sourdough starter in this blog post.
Need starter? The 5th Annual Sourdough Giveaway runs through January 31, 2022. Get your free sourdough starter here.