Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Betty Crocker Project : Baby Olive Oil Garlic Knots

I hate these photos. 

So last night there was a perfect storm in Brooklyn. There was the coming together of a mild autumn night breeze that made it pleasant enough to have the windows open but not so warm the idea of baking wasn't lovely. I had just sent in the final proofs for our book - which required a long journey and in the end was an exhausting adventure. So I was sleepy and excited. The first debate for the 2012 US Presidential Election took place and my loving but dedicated husband had to work so I was left all alone to harass loved ones via Facebook with my observations and Tweet frustrations in short confused sentences. Though I would like to think that it was more like commiseration*. But don't all crazy people think that**?

Before you get scared that I'm going to drag you into this... I won't. I will encourage you to check out all the news coverage today on the misleading statements made by certain Schmitt Schmoney but I'll leave it at that. Promise! Because yesterday while I was adventuring through Brooklyn I was inspired.

See October is official Pizza Month and that encouraged me to veganize a classic New York favorite using olive oil instead of the usual butter and animal-based shortenings used throughout this borough I call home.

There's a stereotype in many people's minds that every corner in Brooklyn has a pizza parlor... which is debatable. There is quite a bit and some neighborhoods are more pizza-ed than others. Of course, most of those spots don't offer much as far as vegan options but they all do offer is a simple treat I grew up adoring when I was a not yet vegan - Garlic Knots.

These simple little buddies are pretty easy and a great vehicle for your favorite marinara sauce. This recipe will make either a dozen regular sized knots or 2 dozen baby knots and is so simple I feel almost guilty calling it a recipe.

For those of you who are wondering where's the promised latest Vegan Rock-toberfest feast - well the photos just didn't turn out very good. I recently moved my photo spot and the lighting just isn't right. Isn't that half the battle of food blogging? You can't just make something delicious - you have have to take alluring photos. But I will say - it was delicious so I won't mind remaking it! 

OK - On to the knots! 

We dusted them with Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese. It's our favorite. 

Baby Olive Oil Garlic Knots

  • 3 Cups Flour (you'll need some extra to flour surfaces)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • Cornmeal (to dust your pizza stone if you're using one)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Leaves (diced) 
  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese or Nutritional Yeast 

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of Flour, Sugar, Salt and Yeast. Add 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil and Warm Water. Mix with a hand mixer at a medium speed for around 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the Flour, and mix in any extra that's on the side of the bowl. Mix until the dough is soft and doesn't stick to the side. Place Dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest for around 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425.

One your dough has doubled in size, separate it into two equally sized portions. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into ovals that are about 1/2 inch thick. Using a knife, cut your dough into equally sized strips. Cut either 12 - 24 strips depending if you're going regular or mini sized. Then take those strips and tie them into knots or roll them into well - rolls. The dough will be sticky so make sure you flour your hands. 

Place them on a lined cookie sheet and brush with Olive Oil. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise for another hour. Then uncover the knots and bake them for 10-15 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. 

While your knots are baking, mix remaining Olive Oil, Garlic and Parsley in a bowl. When your knots are done, let them cool for at least 5 minutes before brushing them with the Olive Oil & Garlic Mix.

Dust them with the Vegan Parmesan Cheese before eating. Serve with any extra Olive Oil & Garlic Mix in a bowl for dipping or you can always use your favorite marinara sauce. 

* I won't lie - after it was over I cried. I had a really tough night and ate all the knots.

** I doubt that guy on the train that tells you how disappointing he is in the plot lines of various TV shows - thinks you aren't equally outraged at how costume design on Mad Men can often be 3-5 years off and how Tony never really was the boss.

PS - I know these haven't been my best posts lately. I'm spread a little thin these days. It's been hard to focus, not get overly emotional or get all tangenty. I wish my brain wasn't also pregnant and I didn't have all these deadlines.


  1. These knots look sooooo good. I've been wanting to try making some bread. This might be the perfect start.

  2. All my willpower goes out the window when it comes to bread, and these look amazing. Bookmarking for later!

  3. Yum!! I've never had garlic knots, but I love all things bready, garlicky, and dipped in marinara. YUM!

  4. Don't be sorry! This post warms my vegan-New Yorker heart! Garlic knots were MY FAVORITE growing up. I loved them even more than I loved pizza. I will be making this pronto! (Sheesh, that was corny...) Hope to bump into you on a pizzeria-filled corner sometime!

  5. congratulations- didn't know you were pregnant. rule #1: don't apologize. you are doing very important work! looking forward to your cookbook- is it february yet?

  6. Omnomnomnomnom, I'm so craving these right now!

  7. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.
    I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.