This easy garlic knots recipe bakes up so soft & pillowy! Bathed in a flavorsome garlic and herb butter, they make a great app or side!
Oh my goodness, garlic knots!
How yummy do these look?
They taste even better!
Homemade bread is the ultimate! Nothing beats the way it smells, and it’s so incredible warm from the oven. I really enjoy the process of making it too! It can be so therapeutic.
Ciabatta bread, focaccia, brioche, and challah… I love it all!
And now we have this easy garlic knots recipe too. Drenched in herby garlic butter and dusted with parmesan, they make a perfect snack or side, and they’re so nice with a salad, soup, or pasta dinner!
What are garlic knots?
Garlic knots are a type of bread roll that have been tied into a knot shape.
After they’re baked, you drench them in a flavorful mixture of melted butter, garlic, and herbs. They’re then coated with savory parmesan cheese.
What do they taste like?
Because they’re typically made with pizza dough, garlic knots often have a taste and texture similar to pizza crust.
Because of the luscious melted butter and all the robust seasonings, a garlic knot tastes so good it doesn’t even need any additional sauce, cheese, or toppings.
This garlic knots recipe starts with my favorite pizza dough, and it bakes up so soft and pillowy! You’re going to love the fluffy, stretchy texture.
And the garlic butter they’re bathed in is so killer!
Here’s a quick rundown of the main ingredients you’ll need and why:
Sugar: I typically use white granulated sugar, but other types of natural sweeteners will work too. You can try brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup if you like. The purpose of the sugar is not only to sweeten the bread, but also to aid in browning, keep the rolls moist, and feed the yeast.
Water: Water will bloom the yeast. You want to use warm water, like a baby’s bath. Aim for a temperature of 105 to 110 degrees F. If your water is too hot, it could kill the yeast.
Yeast: I recommend dry active yeast for this recipe. (Instant yeast can be substituted. Just keep in mind that it will lessen the rise time.) Either way, make sure it isn’t past the expiration date! If it is, your garlic knots may not rise.
Flour: I typically use bleached all-purpose flour. You can probably substitute with other types of flour if you like, but you may need slightly less if you’re using anything whole-grain.
Olive oil: This ingredient provides flavor to the garlic knots and also keeps them from being dry. I prefer extra-virgin olive oil. It is the most flavorful option.
Garlic powder: I like to use garlic powder, but fresh garlic can be substituted, if that’s your preference. If you do, you’ll want to use less, since fresh garlic is much more pungent than garlic powder.
Salt: Kosher salt is my favorite. There are no additives so it has a clean, pure taste, and it’s inexpensive. In this recipe, salt carries and intensifies the flavors.
Egg wash: Egg wash is just a large egg, beaten with enough water to thin it out to a brush-able consistency. It helps the garlic knots to bake up golden brown, with a really pretty sheen. This ingredient is optional, if you’re looking for an egg-free or vegan recipe. Just know that your garlic knots will bake up quite a bit paler in color if you omit it.
Butter: Butter gives these garlic knots the most indulgent flavor! I prefer to use unsalted butter because different brands of butter contain different amounts of salt. Unsalted butter gives a little more control over the saltiness of the final product. You could sub in your favorite dairy-free butter substitute for a vegan option.
Dried herbs: My favorites are basil and oregano, and I like dried herbs for this recipe because they’re shelf-stable. But you can substitute for fresh if you like! You’ll need more fresh herbs to get the same amount of flavor you’d get with dried. You can also just use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, if that’s something you keep on hand.
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: I like a garlic knot with just a little hint of spice, but not too much! You can omit this ingredient if you like, or add more if you prefer a lot of heat.
Ground Parmesan: I love the added flavor and richness you get from parmigiano reggiano! Pecorino romano cheese would also be really good here.
This easy recipe can be broken down into the following steps:
- Make the dough.
- Shape the knots.
- Allow them to rise.
- Egg wash and bake.
- Coat with garlic butter and cheese.
How to make garlic knots
It all starts with my go-to pizza dough recipe! <--There's lots more info on it in this post (just click the link).
Make the dough
Start by combining the sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to dissolve.
Once it’s starting to look foamy, mix in a few cups of flour.
Add in the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, then continue mixing in flour until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
At this point, I like to continue kneading the dough for about 10 minutes. This develops the glutens in the flour, which creates a really stretchy, elastic texture that is so satisfying.
Shape the garlic knots
Once the dough feels really satiny and elastic, divide it into 32 equal portions.
Then roll each portion into a rope.
Cross one end of the rope over the other.
Then pass one end of the rope through the loop.
Tuck the top end of the rope underneath.
And pass the bottom end of the rope through the center of the knot, securing it underneath the roll.
Make sure you really get it through the center and underneath, otherwise it will come apart as it rises and bakes!
Place the unbaked roll on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap (I just mist a sheet with non-stick spray).
And allow the dough to rise until it’s twice it’s original size.
Gently brush the knots with egg wash, taking care not to push any of the air out.
These will bake in a preheated oven until they’re puffy and golden brown.
While the bread rolls are baking, you can mix up your garlic butter.
Stir garlic powder, salt, dried herbs, and red pepper into the melted butter.
Then dump in your rolls and toss them all around to get them coated. You don’t have to wait for them to cool first!
The final step is to dust them generously with ground parmesan cheese. YUM!
How to serve garlic knots
This garlic knots recipe is seriously delish just as is. I love it as an appetizer or snack, and they’re especially scrumptious served warm.
Sometimes it’s nice to dip them in a little red sauce, aka: marinara.
They’d also be fantastic on a cheese board! With a little tangy balsamic vinaigrette for dunking.
Or serve them alongside a bowl of soup or a salad. They make a perfect accompaniment!
Can these be made ahead?
I like to keep a big batch of garlic knots in a zip-top plastic bag in my fridge or freezer. That way I can whip a few out and warm them up whenever the craving strikes!
If you like, you can make overnight garlic knots. Make the dough, shape the rolls, then keep them in the fridge for up to 48 hours (covered) or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Then let them come up to room temperature and rise, and bake and top as usual.
How to store
Wrap these garlic knots up tightly or place them in an airtight container, and they’ll keep at room temperature for a few days.
Stashing them in the fridge will extend their shelf life up to a few weeks.
In the freezer (baked) they should last for a couple months, if not longer.
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For the Garlic Knot Dough:
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (354.88 g) warm water, (approx. 105 degrees F)
- 1/4 ounce (7.09 g) dry active yeast, (1 packet or about 2 teaspoons)
- 3 1/2 cups (437.5 g) all-purpose flour, (approx., you may need more or less)
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 g) kosher salt
- egg wash, (1 egg beaten with a teaspoon or so of water)
For the Garlic Butter Topping:
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter,, melted (1 stick)
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) garlic powder, (or 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
- 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 g) dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon (0.25 g) crushed red pepper flakes, (optional)
- 1/4 cup (25 g) ground parmesan
To Make the Garlic Knot Dough:
- Place the warm water and sugar in a large mixing bowl* and stir together to combine.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to dissolve.
- When the mixture looks foamy (after approx. 5 to 10 minutes), stir in 2 cups of the flour until incorporated.
- Stir in the olive oil, garlic powder, and salt.
- While continuing to mix, add in more flour until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. (You may need slightly more or less flour; use your judgement.)
- Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic (min. 10 minutes).
- Divide the dough into 32 equal portions (approx. 1 ounce each).
- Roll each portion into a rope (approx. 8 inches long), then tie it into a knot and tucking the ends under the knot (see photos above).
- Place the knots on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover lightly with greased plastic wrap.
- Allow the knots to rise to twice their original volume (approx. 1 1/2 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and brush the knots lightly with egg wash.
- Bake the knots until puffy and golden brown (approx. 15 to 25 minutes).
- Toss the knots in the garlic butter topping.
To Make the Garlic Butter Topping:
- Stir the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, basil, oregano, and red pepper together in a large bowl until combined.
- Toss the baked knots in the mixture to coat.
- Sprinkle the garlic knots with ground parmesan and serve.