The Tip For Ensuring Extra-Flavorful Garlic Knots That Won't Burn

A long-time takeout favorite, garlic knots are an easy and satisfying kitchen project, and you don't need too many tips to make them incredibly flavorful. Yes, you can make cheesy garlic knots, and of course, you want to have some good marinara for dipping. But garlic, butter, herbs, and a sprinkling of parmesan are all they really need to be delicious. That being said, with so few ingredients carrying the whole thing, you've got to be careful not to mess things up. You want to really taste that garlic and rich melty butter, not have it disappear into an overwhelming mass of dough. And nothing will dull and ruin the flavor of garlic knots like burning them. That's why you should turn to a tip that upends the conventional garlic knot process and add your garlic butter mixture at the end of cooking instead of brushing it on to start.

Tossing your garlic butter with the knots after they've been baked helps preserve the fresh garlic flavor. Garlic knots can cook for 20 minutes or more depending on the size, and garlic butter brushed on to start will dull in flavor during that time. The small chopped pieces of garlic butter are also very prone to burning, just think how quickly garlic browns in the heat of a pan. Burnt garlic has a very off-putting acrid flavor and none of the potent bite that normally makes it so good. Overcooked garlic is a recipe for bad knots.

Wait until after garlic knots are cooked to toss them with garlic butter

It's not just the garlic in your garlic butter that's susceptible to burning either. Fresh herbs like parsley are an essential part of good garlic knots, and cooking them in your garlic butter helps bring out their flavor. But brushed onto the knots, they may be even more susceptible to burning than garlic. Waiting until after baking to apply the butter mixture preserves the freshness that the herbs are there for, and removes the risk of dull or bitter flavors.

The butter on garlic knots does help them brown a bit, which is useful, so if you prefer you can still brush some butter on the knots before they bake, just without the pieces of garlic clinging to the knot. If you already cooked the garlic in the butter, the infused fat will still bake in some garlic flavor without the risk of burning. And if you do want a little more cooked garlic flavor, you can bake your knots until they're almost done, then brush on your garlic butter for the last three to five minutes of cooking to get a little browning without burning. Then just dust your garlic knots with some grated parm, and they're ready to serve. It's a small switch, but you'll be shocked by how much more flavor your garlic knots will have.