Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tying Myself Up in Knots of Dough and Laughter

This past Sunday most of my Bakeanista* posse, Lisa, Helen, Tanna, Kelly, John, Marce, Chris, and Sara all gathered on Skype to bake. (Stephanie, Ben, Ivonne and Laura had to miss the fun but we've caught them up on what they missed with over one hundred and twelve emails today!) We had gathered to bake one or both of two recipes: the Garlic Knots from the King Arthur Flour Blog, Baker's Banter (go over there and I dare you not to print at least four or five recipes!) or a recipe adapted from Bon Appetit. The goal of the gossip baking session was to try and mimic some garlic knots that I mean Lisa remembers from an Italian restaurant in her home town of Cleveland; where the food is crappy but the garlic knots are to die for.

Despite the title, this post isn't about anything kinky but considering some of the talk that happens when my little baking wrecking crew gets together you would never know we ever have time to bake! What we did have time for was eight plus hours of snorting coffee on computer screens (Did you know that Titanic Kate or rather Helen has a prophylactic wrapped keyboard because of us?!), explorations of stripper accessories for Diane's....I mean Kelly's wee-wee booby knots (we went with twirly versus jangley), and talking Dexter's Kate/John off the yeast is evil ledge (John, your knots are yar!).

OH yea, along with an education on electric tape versus body glue, I also got twelve of garlic infused, golden brown, squishy dough knots to scarf down in less than one hour! (I shared with my awesome neighbor Chris)

Sunday Knots Baked

They all had good wide girth and only one had a little appendage that rose to the occasion.

Nubby Middle Sundy Roll

Now, if you are long time reader of The Sour Dough, you know that I haven't met an yeast dough that I didn't like and this one was no exception. Our only complaint with the King Arthur recipe was despite how wonderful the garlic butter was, for those of us who have never heard the meaning of too little garlic, we wanted to taste the garlic all the way through the knots.

So, on Monday while I was working at home (hey, yeast dough rising is a great multi tasking kitchen duty!), I decided to play a little with the recipe. I crushed two cloves of garlic, mixed a dash of lemon juice into the crushed cloves to prevent them from turning Tanna Green, and added them to the dough before letting it rise. Then I formed the knots again, brushed them with an egg wash made from one egg and 1 Tbsp of garlic juice and sprinkled some Asiago cheese on top and left them to rise again.

Monday Knots Risen

After baking them, I brushed them with the garlic infused butter

Monday Garlic Knots

and ripped into one of them straight from the hot pan.

Inside Monday's Knots

They were everything a garlic fanatic like me could ever hope for with the added bonus that if Buffy needs me to help her out, I'm pretty sure I could wear one or two of these under my shirt, pasties optional, and keep the vampires away!

Now, a check list for you before you go see what the rest of this funny, fabulous and naughty bunch of bakers have put up on their blogs:

  1. Make sure you don't have any coffee, milk, cola, or adult beverage in your mouth

  2. If you do, make sure you have covered your keyboard and screen in a plastic drop cloth

  3. Keys should be at the ready to rush out and get the ingredients to bake the knots

* The Bakeanistas are not a baking group, we are just a small group of rowdy friends who get together every once in a while on Skype to bake, drink, chat and trade pictures of baked goods and other things (big things with lots of girth!) back and forth.

If you are interested in baking or cooking with a group of friends, I can heartily recommend using Skype, finding a recipe you all want to try, pick a date and let the good time roll! If you are interested in joining an online baking group and want to bake a monthly challenge with a bunch of really cool people, I can tell you from experience there isn't a better group of folks than The Daring Bakers. If you want to bake your way through Dorie Greenspan's fantastic book, "Baking From My Home to Yours", the guys and gals at Tuesday's With Dorie will be more than happy to have you join them (and they are a pretty fantastic group of folks too!)