Ricotta Garlic and Oregano Knots

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So I am coming at you all with a two for one special today! I had to make up to my followers this little mini hiatus, but fear not, here comes another Shy Girl recipe that will make your stomachs’ pleased.

I have come to this conclusion that there is a little hidden baker inside me.  I have never thought of myself as such, I mean I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, but I never saw myself as one to bake.  Baking is truly a science, but that’s what makes it fun and to be honest, super rewarding when it turns out right.  So as I have been in this realm of bread baking for the last few months, I even joined a bread baking group on Facebook (no judgement, yes I am that girl who joined your secret bread group). In the group, these folks have some serious skill making that bread (in my best Stevie J impression).  Any-who, many of the people in the group work as artisan bakers and know what’s up in the pastry department. Needless to say, they’ve inspired me!  I have been tinkering around figuring out the realm of savory breads, and this one was definitely a hit.

Here they come, wait for it, ricotta garlic knots.  These morsels have cheese, garlic, butter, and oregano.  I don’t know if you all are ready for what this bread brings, especially for a mega carb lover like myself.  Now that I have gone a bit overboard on how delicious these knots are, let’s get into this recipe.

 

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I mean who doesn’t like cheese, butter, and garlic together.

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Just out of the oven and ready to eat!

Ricotta Garlic and Oregano Knots 

(Yields 12 knots)

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups warm whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons mined garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teasoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • freshly cracked black pepper

 

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix togther the yeast and milk and set aside to let yeast activate for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Once yeast is activated, in a stand mixer with a dough hook, place the flour, ricotta, garlic, oregano, salt, sugar, and butter into the bowl. Turn on a low speed to mix ingredients.
  3. While the mixer is on medium-low speed, slowly add in the milk yeast mixture.
  4. Work/knead until the dough is smooth, but slightly sticky, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. In a greased bowl, place the dough inside, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, place in a draft place to proof for about an 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Lightly oil two baking sheets
  7. Once dough has doubled in volume, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. gently punch down the dough, and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  Cover the pieces with lightly oiled plastic wrap as you work on making the knots.
  8. Take a piece of dough, and roll it on the floured surface into a rope (about 9 inches long). Then lift one end of the dough over the other to make a loop.  Push the end through the hole of the loop to make a neat knot.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the knots on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees Farenheit while knots are rising.
  11. For egg wash: mix together the egg,  cream, water, and pepper. Brush the knots with the egg wash
  12. Bake the knots for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are a beautiful golden brown.
  13. Let knots cool slightly on a wire rack.
  14. Eat and enjoy with olive oil or garlic butter!

And as always, let me know if you all tried this recipe.

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

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So if you know me, you know I am a fiend for pizza.  I mean who doesn’t love a full meal in one sitting.  You have a protein, a carb, a fruit, some veggies, and some added calcium. Pizza can be healthy or it doesn’t have to be–whatever preference.

This week, I have been somewhat busy, my fiancé came into town, and we have been trying to set up for the summer. One of our favorite places, before we moved from DC was Matchbox, and I loved their pesto pizza.  However we are in Atlanta now, and I decided why go out and order food when I can recreate it in my kitchen.

Let’s see what the ingredients are!

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The dough is simple: flour, olive oil, instant yeast, sea salt, a pinch of sugar, and of course water.

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Baby spinach and garlic to accompany my basil pine nut pesto.

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Ooooh look at that dough! I got fancy and added some Italian herbs to it.

Prepping that pizza with some shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, spinach mixture, and topping with my some parmesan reggiano.

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Yes ma’am its time to eat!

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza Dough (adapted by King Arthur Pizza Crust Recipe)

  • 3 cups AP Flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • cornmeal or olive oil for baking sheet

Pesto Topping

  • 3/4 cup Pesto sauce (you can make yours or buy)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup finely shredded roasted chicken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus an additional 1/2 tablespoon for brushing crust
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method 

  1. For dough: Combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook.  Make sure that the dry ingredients are combined.  When the mixer is running on medium, add the water and the olive oil. Mix until the dough forms into a ball (if your dough is too sticky add a little flour at a time). Take the dough ball out onto a clean floured surface.  Knead the dough until it is a smooth ball, about four minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or towel, and place the dough it in a warm area to let it double in size for an 1 hour.
  3. Take the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead about 1 to 2 more times.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. For pesto topping: While your dough is resting, on medium heat, add olive oil to a medium skillet. Once hot, add spinach, season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Sauté mixture, ensuring  you move constantly so that the garlic does not burn. Cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove spinach mixture from heat and place to the side.
  6. For pizza: On a either lightly greased baking sheet or cornmeal dusted pizza stone, form crust.
  7. Spread with pesto and spinach mixture.  Top with shredded chicken, dollops of ricotta, parmesan, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Brush crust with olive oil (I usually add salt and Italian herbs in my olive oil)
  9. Bake pizza in your preheated oven for 12 minutes, until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  10. Brush with additional olive oil and slice pizza.
  11. Eat and enjoy!

As always let me know if you tried this recipe or liked it!

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.