Saturday, December 4, 2010

handmade yule

i hate commercial christmas. hate it. i hate it being all about money and stuff and being a failed psychic of other people's taste. i usually do some of my gifts handmade and most of the food for my yule party from scratch but this year i've decided all my gifts will be homemade. a bit of the food will be bought premade but most will be from-scratch indulgences. many of the recipients of those gifts read this blog so i wont detail them until afterwards, hopefully with pics, but suffice it to say this year it's about the time we spend together and the effort and care that went into a gift. take that, metrotown! and i'm not watching tv again until the boxing day ads are gone! so there!

gaaaaarlic knots

difficulty rating: bottle short of a six pack
been a while since i posted hasn't it? this is also turning into a mostly food blog but kinda boring since my camera is a piece of crap. oh well. this pic isn't *my* garlic knots, but they look just like them so good enough:

garlic knots, for the uninitiated, are garlic bread's sexy younger cousin. if done right they are tastier, prettier, and faster then the bread from scratch. i'm going to get so fucking fat because i can't stop making these and eating them all immediately:
turn on your oven to it's lowest setting
mix together
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
set aside, mix separately:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs salt
once your yeast mix starts bubbling, dump it into the four mixture along with:
1/4 cup oil (olive, canola, melted butter, whatever)
stir until a soft dough forms, then knead for a few min, adding a spoonful or two more flour if needed to keep it from being too sticky
cover the bowl with a clean towel (i like to wrap it under too since my bowl is plastic) and place in your warm (not hot) oven. turn the oven off and keep the door closed for 20-30 min
now your dough should be twice the size. punch it down and divide into two balls. place each ball on a big greased pan/cookie sheet and divide each ball into 16 even pieces. turn your oven onto the lowest setting again.
roll each piece quickly between your hands to make an 8 inch "rope" about 1/3" thick, then tie into a single knot. try to leave enough space in between so they wont be touching when they double in size again.
turn your oven back off and lay your towel over the rack. put your pans in to rise again.
once they're big and puffy, remove the towel and turn the heat up to 325 for about 20 min or until lightly golden brown. in the mean time heat in the microwave for two min:
1/2 cup butter (can sub half olive oil if desired)
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp fresh pepper
1/2-1 tsp oregano (or dill or parsley)
4-6 cloves fresh minced garlic
and yes 2 min is way longer then needed to melt the butter. we're also trying to partially cook the garlic and get all the flavors into the fat.
once the knots are cooked, take them out, turn off the oven, spoon the garlic butter over them (being sure to get some garlic bits on each) and top each with a pinch of:
parmesan, preferably fresh but the powdered type will do
and put pans back in the (off) oven for 5 min to let the cheese melt and the butter soak in.
now try not to eat ALL of them in the next two hours wouldja?