Saturday, December 12, 2015

Homemade Garlic Knots: or, My math class is cancelled!

Ever felt like all your woe and misery just melted in your brain and came pouring out through your ears? Well, we at A Book of Cookrye have felt that delightful, divoon state of being! It almost felt like I was in a rain of misery, and that all the negativity clogging up my head been washed away and was dripping to the floor. Want to know what caused this all-consuming frisson of happiness? My math class was dismissed an hour early, and the teacher announced that the next class is cancelled!
I came in from class and shouted "MY MATH CLASS GOT OUT EARLY AND GOT CANCELLED NEXT WEEK!" Everyone in the common room started clapping! It was like my joy spread to everyone!
You'd be happy too if you'd spent a whole semester doing this.

To celebrate this marvelous liberation (and the sudden gift of a lot of free time), we at A Book of Cookrye decided to pull out an idea we've been sitting on for some time: Garlic knots! There's this pizza place up the street from us that makes some really good garlic knots that you get free if you go during lunch hours. We at A Book of Cookrye decided to use some garlic sauce we pinched from the last time they ordered pizza for everyone doing theater sets (see how divoon we think garlic sauce is here) and see if we can't have garlic knots in the convenience of our own domicile.

Garlic Rolls
¼ c shortening
½ c + 2 tbsp milk
¼ c sugar
1 envelope yeast
2-3 c flour
¼ c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
2 (1-oz) containers garlic dipping sauce (the kind you get from pizza delivery)

Heat the milk and shortening until melted. You can do it on the stove stirring constantly, but microwaving it will be a lot easier and you won't be trying to keep the milk from burning in the pot. Cool to 120°-130°.
Mix a generous 1½ c flour, the sugar, the salt, and the yeast. Add the milk and shortening, mix thoroughly. Add the egg and beat well. Then add the remaining flour-the dough should be sticky and barely firm enough to knead.
Knead until smooth, it should be about 3 minutes. Then let it rise until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Have a clean, floured surface ready.
Thoroughly coat one portion of dough in flour and roll it out to quarter-inch thickness. Take a container of garlic sauce and pour half of it onto the dough. Spread it out (you may as well use your fingers since they're probably already sticky and dough-covered anyway), then roll the dough up like cinnamon rolls. Wet the edges that will make up the seam, then press and pinch it closed. Slice it into about half-inch pieces, then put them onto a large, greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough.
Take the other container of garlic sauce. Pour a little bit of it on top of each roll. Place into the oven. Turn the oven to 170° (or whatever its lowest setting is), then turn it off. Let the rolls rise until they're a nice, good size. Then bake at 350° until nice and golden on top.

SPJST 100th Anniversary Cookbook, 1997

For the sake of record, this bread recipe was originally part of a recipe for runzas. You wrap the dough around a filling of ground beef, onion, and cabbage. It's really delicious as plain rolls, or you can roll it into a scroll with cinnamon sugar and have some divoon cinnamon rolls.

Do you want to know what else we at A Book of Cookrye are delighted to celebrate? Check out this price tag!
Our Mom always taught us that it's rude to talk about how much you paid for things. However, proclaiming how steeply discounted you got something is fair game.

And so, we at A Book of Cookrye, like all Americans, begin this delightful, delicious, de-lovely recipe like so many Americans would: a blob of solid saturated fat!

The one thing that concerned us was whether the 25¢ yeast would actually rise. Was it marked down because it had all died and was sitting in the envelope all sad and deceased? However, the thin runny proto-bread sludge smelled very strongly of yeast. So we figured the little yeast granules must still be alive!
This is going to be so good...

You know what, let's pretend that we didn't have to add extra water because it was too dry, and then add more flour because we overwatered it and made it pathetically runny, and had to continue compensating with ever-stickier hands until we could knead it. We'll just skip to the part where we kneaded it because we finally got the bread dough to come out right.
Looka that! It's perfect!

It may be that the yeast was 25¢ (and we are more than slightly delighted that we need to use a cent sign to type out the price) because it took a while to wake up. However, after spending a while in the warm oven, the yeast eventually started furiously flatulating that the bread could rise. And so, we at A Book of Cookrye got this!
Huzzah for farting microbes!

All right, this is where we get to the super exciting part: turning what would have already been some delicious bread into some divoon garlic knots! With garlic!
We at A Book of Cookrye recommend using two garlics for this recipe.

We originally thought we would take the "knot" in "garlic knot" literally. We thought we'd roll the dough into snakes, slather them in garlic sauce, and knot them. That did not work. The dough refused to stay in knots. so we ended up doing this like cinnamon rolls.

We at A Book of Cookrye then realized that we lacked a pan big enough for baking these all at once. The idea of baking in batches gets a lot less appealing when you realize that you'll have to wait for each batch to rise. Instead, this happened:
Custom-fitted cookie sheets!

A protip for those doing this at home: If you use only one layer of foil, whatever you set on it will immediately fall between the bars on the oven rack. You want at least three layers so it's sufficiently supportive. You know this has been a long semester for us at A Book of Cookrye because someone else had to suggest we layer the foil. We had been staring at our carefully shaped garlic rolls falling through the oven and muttering "Shit!" and unable to think of any way to come up with something to make this work.
Dolloped with extra garlic and ready to rise!

We knew these would be good because you could see all the garlic sauce soak into them as they rose. None of it dripped away; it all went into the bread. The smell coming out of the kitchen as they rose was amazing. So many people came into the kitchen asking what was cooking ("Garlic bread? Can I have one when they're done?") that we began to deeply regret cutting the original recipe in half.
This bread comes with dipping sauce.

As hoped, these were amazing. Do yourself a favor. Make them.

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