Nothing beats a freshly-baked loaf of homemade bread—especially in autumn. Once you’ve experienced the flavor of homemade sourdough knots, with that exceptionally crusty exterior and the genuinely chewy inside, you’ll never want to eat the store-bought kind again. It’s not difficult to make, and the few extra steps are well worth your time. These homemade garlic knots are a bit different than normal sourdough bread knots: only mildly sour, with a comforting bold flavor and a chewy, crusty texture comparable to the best bakery. Filled with an entire head of roasted garlic and fresh thyme, brushed with melted vegan butter, chopped parsley, and topped with vegan cheese, these homemade garlic knots are truly life-changing. Crispy, golden, buttery, and delicious on the outside, with a soft center, these beauties are ideal for the holidays and the perfect side for your Thanksgiving dinner—or any day of the year for that matter.
Roasted Garlic Sourdough Knots with Pecorino [Vegan]
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup bubbly, active sourdough starter (see note)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 thyme sprigs, leaves removed, stem discarded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- vegan mozzarella cheese, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the top of the garlic head off so the cloves inside are exposed.
- Place the garlic cut-side-up on a square of foil, then drizzle the olive oil over the top.
- Wrap the foil up and around the garlic, forming a sealed packet.
- Place directly on the oven rack and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the cloves are golden brown and spreadably soft.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the starter and water with a fork
- Add the all-purpose flour, bread flour, salt, and thyme leaves, and stir to form a shaggy dough, ensuring you catch the bits of flour on the sides of the bowl.
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature until the garlic is finished roasting.
- Once the garlic is cool enough to handle comfortably, squeeze the cloves out directly into the bowl, and knead briefly to incorporate the cloves into the dough.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 8 to 10 hours at 70°F.
- Once the dough is fully risen, remove the towel, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, when ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Carefully transfer the cold dough to a lightly-floured work surface and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Using a knife or bench scraper, divide the dough into 10 equal strips, each one about 2 ounces. Hold the ends of one strip, and gently stretch to tie a knot shape.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough strips.
- Brush the knots with olive oil.
- Cover the dough and let rest until puffy, 1 hour or more, depending on the temperature of the room.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Uncover the knots, place the baking sheet on the center oven rack, and bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- When finished, transfer the hot knots to a large bowl.
- Drizzle over the melted butter, then sprinkle with parsley and grated mozzarella to taste. Toss well to coat evenly, then serve warm, and enjoy!
These knots are best the first day they are made, but will keep for several days in a sealed container at room temperature. A sourdough starter is essentially a paste of flour and water that is filled with active live yeast. It’s what makes sourdough special, and is responsible for the flavor and texture of the final loaf. You can get a starter in two ways: get a sample from a friend, or make it yourself.