Quick Game Day Appetizer: Garlic-Knot Monkey Bread


[Photos: Adam Kuban]

I've got to thank Kenji for this idea. He suggested a garlic-knot monkey bread as a Home Slice topic, saying it might be good to do before the big game on Sunday.

The byword here is EASY. This is almost a twist-and-dump thing. You could make your own dough for this (here's a suitable recipe), but I just used store-bought pizza dough from the freezer section. You'll need 2 pounds. (Most store-bought pizza doughs I've seen come in 1-pound portions, often 2 to a package.)


Divide 1 pound of dough (above) into 1-ounce chunks. The eighth-cut dough here represents about 2 ounces each. I shot this before I divided the sections further. My point with this picture is that I'm not even using a scale. Who cares. Just eyeball this shizz. Some knots are bigger than others.


Pour a healthy glug of olive oil (about 4 tablespoons) into an angel-food or bundt cake pan. Spread it on all the surfaces with your hands. Now roll out the dough blobs into ropes. If you have olive oil on your hands, all the better. It helps as you tie the ropes into knots.


Just do an overhand knot. No need to get too crazy. As you tie off the knots, roll them in the oil in the pan to coat them all over. This prevents some measure of sticking during rising and baking. And that's good, because you want the knotted chunks to pull apart easily later.

When you've got 16 knots in the pan, throw about 2 large cloves of grated garlic on there, making sure to spread it around evenly. Now repeat with the other pound of dough, again topping with a couple cloves' worth of grated garlic.

Now cover the cake pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. (I put mine in the oven with the light turned on.)


It should double in bulk. Preheat oven to 425°F, remove towel or plastic wrap, and brush top gently with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle on some finely grated Parmesan, if you'd like. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.


I like to serve this with a sauce that Slice'r dmcavanagh hipped me to: a 28-ounce can of crushed Italian-style tomatoes mixed with 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, some garlic seasoning or freshly grated garlic, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix it all together and plop it in a serving bowl and voilà!

UPDATE - USE 2-OUNCE KNOTS: I've since tried this with 2-ounce knots. So you'd only need to divide the 1-pound dough balls in eighths (like the picture shows). These larger, supersize knots have much better peel-apart characteristics.