Okay maybe this won't be that short. You know I can’t just leave it at that.
For months I’ve been taunted by pretty pictures of garlic knots all over Tastespotting and other blogs, making my mouth water for some delicious rolls. So when Thanksgiving rolled around, I finally had an excuse for some bread baking. I didn’t think garlic rolls would pair too well with turkey, so I skipped the garlic and sweetened them up with a bit of honey instead. With crazy work schedules and a whole lot of cookie baking, I never got around to posting them, or even taking pictures for that matter. But I couldn't let something this good slip through the cracks. So I made them again for Christmas! Even though I was stuffed to the point of getting sick, I couldn’t stop picking at them, they were so tasty! Soft and perfectly sweet, I could eat nothing but rolls every day and be happy.
Both times I made them, I started the day before and left the dough to proof in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Take it out about an hour to an hour and a half before you’re ready to bake to warm back up a bit, shape into knots, and proof a second time.
Adapted from Milk & Honey and Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Makes about 24 to 38 rolls
3 ¼ to 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 beaten egg, for mixing into dough, plus 1 beaten egg, for brushing
Honey Butter (for brushing):
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon honey
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1 ¼ cups flour and yeast; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter, salt, and honey, stirring until just warmed (120 to 130 degrees). Add to the flour mixture along with 1 beaten egg. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for 3 minutes.
3. With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in 2 cups of the remaining flour (or as much of it as you can).
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in the remaining ½ cup of flour until you have a smooth elastic dough, about 6 to 8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Turn to coat the dough, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (At this point, you can also put the bowl in the refrigerator and let rise overnight. The next day, remove from fridge and let warm up about a half an hour to an hour before continuing with directions.)
5. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. While dough is resting, lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
6. Divide each half of the dough into 12 to 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch long rope. Tie each rope into a loose knot, leaving two long ends. Tuck the top end under the knot and the bottom end into the center of the knot.* Place the knots two to three inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about a half an hour.
7. Preheat oven to 375F. Brush the rolls with the remaining beaten egg. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 to 18 minutes.
8. While rolls are baking, make honey butter for brushing. Stir together melted butter and honey until smooth. While rolls are still hot, brush butter over tops, sprinkling lightly with coarse salt.
*Note: Check out Milk & Honey's post for great step by step pictures of this! It helped me a lot to see it rather than just read it.