Why It Works
- Building a concentrated flavor base adds plenty of flavor to the exterior of the bread, while knotting the dough allows that flavor to seep deeper into nooks and crannies.
- Letting the rolls rise until they're pressed together in a baking dish makes for extra-moist bread that's fun to pull apart when eating.
This little bit of holiday magic is the result of mashing up the best part of Thanksgiving—stuffing, of course—with pull-apart garlic knots. Instead of infusing the buttery knots with the flavors of pepperoni and garlic bread, we toss the dough knots with all the ingredients that go into a classic stuffing: sausage, sage, celery, onion, and garlic. And plenty of butter.
- 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, divided
- 8 ounces (225g) sage sausage or breakfast sausage, removed from casings (see note)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (7g) minced fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup (7g) minced fresh parsley leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 pound (450g) homemade or store-bought pizza dough (see note)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Melt 2 tablespoons (28g) butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and mash with a stiff whisk or potato masher to break up into fine pieces (the largest pieces should be no bigger than 1/4 inch). Cook, stirring frequently, until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer contents to a large bowl and set aside until completely cool.
While filling cools, make knots. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 2 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong strip about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.
Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with sausage mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in sausage mixture. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon (14g) butter. Transfer knots to baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours.
When ready to bake, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Unwrap rolls. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.
When rolls are almost ready, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush on butter. Serve with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side.
9- by 13-inch baking dish, large cast iron skillet
Other cured meats cut into fine dice, like bacon, pancetta, or chorizo, can be used in place of the sausage. Because of how intensely flavored these rolls are, this is a case in which store-bought dough (which is often under-seasoned) works just as well as homemade. So feel free to take the easy road here and use premade pizza dough—you won't be sacrificing any flavor.