What do road races and pumpkin garlic knots have in common?
They’re both terribly addicting.
Really, I have a problem. In the days leading up to every single race, I grumble about how much I’d rather have my money back than run the race. “Why am I paying [insert outrageous entry fee here] to run 13.1 miles when I did it just last week for free?! I could have new boots! Or PLANE TICKETS!” And it’s true. I’m pretty sure I could travel abroad for the price I’ve paid to run road races in the past year. So right before the Nike Women’s Half I told myself “no more.” At least for a while. I promised I’d save my money and go visit my brother in South America. Or buy these beautiful boots that I’ve been totally been coveting.
But then I run the race. The whole experience – the spectators, the volunteers, the thousands of other runners- is so electrifying. Before I’m even halfway done, I’m thinking about what race I want to sign up for next. Every. Single. Time. By Monday morning, I’m online looking at upcoming races. Or perusing the Rock ‘n Roll marathon Series Tour Stops and adding races to my g-Calendar, just in case. And messaging my running buddies about races, not because I want to run the race, just because I think they should know about them in case they do! And so I myself plant the seeds of peer pressure.
Why am I so addicted to road races? It’s hard to say. However, it’s much easier to say why I’m addicted to these garlic knots. They’re so simple, yet so good: the pumpkin makes them moist and chewy and they’re flavored with some of my very favorite things: olive oil, garlic, rosemary and sea salt. They were a big hit with my husband, who always bargains to keep a portion of whatever I’m bringing to girl’s night, and they definitely helped us ladies carb-load for the Nike Women’s half marathon! In fact, Bia liked them so much she brought a handful home to eat for breakfast!
Pumpkin Garlic Knots
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 envelope (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 31/2 cups flour (I used wheat)
- 1 1/2 tsp course kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- Parmesan, rosemary and sea salt (optional)
- Pour the warm water into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Then add your agave nectar, olive oil, and pumpkin and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. With you fist, make an impression in the center and pour in your wet ingredients.
- Start pulling everything together with a spatula. When you can no longer mix, use your hands to start kneading the dough. Keep kneading — and adding more flour as necessary — until you have a ball that’s elastic, but not sticky.
- Lightly oil another large bowl and put your dough ball inside it, flipping over once to coat both sides lightly with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and put pizza stone in the oven. You may use a pan too, but a pizza stone works best. Trust me on this, I made half the batch on a pizza stone and half on a pan and the pizza stone batch cooked much more evenly to a nice golden brown.
- To create the garlic knots, rip off sections of dough, about the size of two tablespoons, and roll them into a snake shape. Then tie that snake in a knot. Set aside and continue with the rest of the dough.
- Once you’ve made all your knots, put them on your stone (or on your pan) and let bake until golden brown on the tops – anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on how big your knots are.
- While you’re waiting, in a large bowl mix together 1/2 cup olive oil with 5 (or more!) cloves of minced garlic, as well as some salt, pepper, and rosemary (dried or fresh). There’s really no right or wrong mixture.
- When the knots are done, dump them into the bowl and mix well to coat. (I didn’t read the instructions properly, and brushed them with the oil mixture. In hindsight, I think mixing them in a bowl would work much better and ensure that they all get a good coating!) Sprinkle with Parmesan and additional salt if desired.