These pull apart gluten free garlic knots are made in a cast iron skillet, so they’re crispy on the outside, soft inside. Packed with garlic and herb flavor, they’re the garlic knots your guests will remember!
In my house, everyone knows the rules about what I’m cooking and baking: Rule #1. Don’t ask! The kitchen is not just the kitchen. It’s my office, you know? And my laboratory.
If I have to try to put words to what I’m doing, or trying to do, it ruins everything. I’m not thinking in words when I’m cooking, not yet. I’m thinking in concepts, and with my heart.
And apparently my children can’t help themselves from, at the very least, excitedly sharing the “news” with one another. “Mom’s making bacon garlic knots again!!” *subtle*
These skillet garlic knots (thank you once againJ. Kenji López-Alt) are more than “just” garlic knots. They’re pull-apart garlic knots.
And they’re made in a cast iron skillet, which honestly makes alllll the difference. Instead of fluffy, doughy garlic knots, these are just the right amount of crispy on the bottom and packed with all kinds of delicious flavor (even if you make them without bacon, but of course they’re better with it).
*A note about the bacon: If you prefer to make these without bacon, replace the bacon with 2 more tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and skip the step in which the bacon is cooked.
Make the pizza dough according to the recipe instructions and place the dough in a sealed container or bowl in a warm, draft-free location to rise until nearly doubled in size (1 to 2 hours, depending upon environment). Full doubling is not necessary. Place the risen dough, still in a sealed container or bowl, in the refrigerator to chill until firmer (about 30 minutes). Alternatively, set the dough to rise in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 12 hours or up to 5 days.
Prepare the bacon-garlic mixture. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or another heavy-bottom skillet), scatter the diced bacon in a single layer in the dry skillet and cook over medium heat until evenly golden brown and crisp (about 7 minutes). Remove the cooked bacon from the skillet and place it in a large bowl to cool. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet (save for another use for the love of all things holy do not throw out perfectly good bacon grease!), and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Using the flat side of a large knife, press the minced garlic and kosher salt together firmly to form a thick paste, and cook the garlic paste in the skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and very lightly golden brown (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer the garlic and oil to the large bowl with the bacon grease, add the oregano and basil, and mix to combine. Set the bowl aside to cool. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside to cool while you shape the pizza dough.
Shape the pizza dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the pizza dough until smoother as directed in These General Shaping Tips. Roll the dough into a ball. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and, using well-floured hands and a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 24 equal pieces, each slightly less than 1 ounce. Roll each piece into a ball and then, using the tips of the fingers of both hands and using gentle but steady pressure away from you and out to the sides and sprinkling lightly with flour as necessary to prevent sticking, roll each ball of dough into a rope about 4 inches long. Shape each into a knot by crossing one end over the other about 1 inch from each end, then poking one end through the loop you created and placing that end on top of the knot. Turn the knot on its side, press it together gently to seal, and place it to the side. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Assemble the knots in the skillet. To the large bowl with the bacon and garlic mixture, add about 3/4 of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and mix to combine. Place the shaped garlic knots in the mixture about 6 at a time and toss them with clean hands to coat them generously. Transfer the pieces of dough and garlic and bacon mixture to the skillet in a single layer. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can bake the knots in a 9-inch round baking dish. Drizzle the top lightly with more olive oil, cover with the cover of your skillet if you have one, or a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free location to rise until about 1 1/2 times its original size (about 1 1/2 hours, but rising times will vary significantly depending upon the rising environment—be patient!).
Bake the garlic knots. About 30 minutes before the rise is complete, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the rack in the bottom third of the oven. Once the rise is complete, uncover the skillet, drizzle lightly with more olive oil and place on the bottom rack. Bake until the knots are lightly golden brown all over, and slightly darker brown in spots (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and allow to sit briefly while the cheese melts before serving with tomato sauce for dipping.