[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

On a whim last weekend, I baked sourdough pumpkin garlic knots. It then became my solemn duty to write the recipe ASAP, lest it be forgotten and my future self and family – and my fellow Keepers of the Sourdough out there – be deprived of its simple glory.

[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

Credit is due to this genius, who got me hooked on pumpkin garlic knots in the days when I always kept a little glass jar of active dry yeast in my fridge. Now that I’ve gone gung-ho for 100% sourdough, I wanted to take a shot at reworking this old favorite around my wild yeast.

Recommended Reading:

The Magic of Sourdough, Part I: Ancestral Biotech with Nutrition Benefits

Sourdough, Part II: The How and WHY of Getting Your Starter Started

[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

In a stroke of good luck, my first try was a roaring success. The rolls were plump, soft, golden, and insanely irresistible after tossing with olive oil, freshly minced garlic, chiffonades of basil, and shaved herb gouda cheese.
I’m surprised I ended up with this many photos, but I guess we’re lucky I’m such a dough nerd. The real proof that this started as such a casual/lazy bake is that I didn’t even bother to weigh my ingredients – sorry! I promise I’ll add weights the next time I bake them. I hope we won’t have to wait very long.

[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

Yield: 12-14 knots

[Sourdough] Pumpkin Garlic Knots

adapted from neverhomemaker, who also makes another highly recommended variation that involves stuffing your knots with minced garlic, greens and brie. Yes!

If you don't have a baking stone, you can bake your loaves on a large sheet pan instead, which does not need to be preheated.

Dough:
1 cup sourdough starter, recently fed and bubbly
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to coat when rising
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
To Serve:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan or other cheese

Mix sourdough starter, water, pumpkin, olive oil, and maple syrup in a large bowl, then stir in the flours and salt to form a shaggy dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed, until the dough feels elastic and less sticky. Lightly drizzle the dough with olive oil and place it into a large bowl or lidded container, rolling over each side to evenly coat the surface. Cover the container loosely with its lid, plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and allow it to rise at room temperature or in a warm place for approximately 8 hours, give or take depending on your ambient temperature and activity of your starter, until roughly doubled in size.

When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 420 F, and place a baking stone on the middle rack if you have one. Prepare a surface for working with the dough by lightly dusting it with all-purpose or whole-wheat flour. Tear off small pieces of dough (about 1/4 cup size); dust them with flour and shape them first into a ball to tighten their surface tension, then roll into a rope shape 6-8 inches in length. Create a loop with the dough and push one end through it to form a knot shape. Place each knot onto a parchment-lined cutting board (or pizza peel, or other sturdy, rimless platter).

Open the oven and carefully slide the knots along with their parchment liner onto the baking stone and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While they bake, prepare a topping by mixing the olive oil, salt, garlic, herbs and cheese in a large bowl. After baking, toss the rolls with the garlic oil before serving.

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