Cheesy Garlic Bombs

My sister returned home a few weeks ago. One of the first things we talked about was our love of food and, if you are like me, you know that talking about good food only makes you want to eat good food! My sister talked me into (and I didn’t need much persuading to be fair!) making cheesy garlic knots. The combination of delicious cheese and heavenly garlic all tied together in a crusty knot became an irresistible challenge. I set about the task of creating the cheesy garlic knots there and then, even though I hadn’t made them before. But how hard could it be?

My sister and I immediately set off to find the ingredients. She walked quickly (ok, she ran) to the nearest pizzeria she could find to pick up the best, fluffiest pizza dough she could get while I ran to the local store to grab some Mozzarella cheese. For me, Mozzarella, with it’s distinctive aroma and gentle taste, is the perfect cheese for this type of recipe. After a bit of internet surfing, I found a great instructional video, California Mozzarella Garlic Knots , on how to make cheesy garlic knots so I followed it and came out the other side with a batch of mouth-watering little cheesy garlic knots all begging to be enjoyed.

My sister and I agreed that they looked great but, for me, they didn’t quite reach the level of expectation I had when I bit into them. I want the rich flavor of cheese to explode with every bite. I liked them but I didn’t love them.

Not one to settle for good enough, I tried to make them again a week later, only this time I decided to put a little spin on the recipe. With a little more thinking out of the box (and a little less running to the pizzeria for my sister) I set about creating something that would give me that taste explosion. This time I switched from garlic knots to garlic bombs! The first thing I did was make my own pizza dough. This gave me more control over the exact texture and consistency of the dough. I also changed my technique.

Firstly, I rolled out my pizza dough. Cut the dough in half and each half into 5 pieces.  I placed two pieces of mozzarella in the center of each piece of dough. I buttered the garlic bombs and topped them with an Asiago, Parmesan and Romano cheese blend, baked them for 10 minutes and when they came out of the oven I topped them with garlic. YUM!!! This time I got a much cheesier result.  The garlic bombs lived up to their name!

I made a sweet marinara sauce to go on the side of my cheesy garlic bombs. The sauce was good enough to drink. It was a match made in heaven.

Pizza Dough
Recipe used and adapted from

Ingredients
1   1/4 cups water divided plus  1/2  cup warm
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
semolina flour for dusting pizza peel

Directions

  1. Measure 1/4 cup of warm water about (100 – 105 degrees) along with 2 tsp sugar into 2-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast in; let stand until yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup of warm water plus 1 1/4 cups water and olive oil.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pulse bread flour, all purpose flour and salt in a work bowl to combine. Add liquid ingredients (holding back a tablespoon or so) to flour and pulse together. If dough does not readily form into ball, stop machine, add remaining liquid, and continue to pulse until ball forms. Process until dough is smooth.
  3. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand with a few strokes to form smooth, round ball. Use chef’s knife or dough scraper to halve, quarter, or cut dough into eighths, depending on number and size of pizzas desired. Put dough into oiled bowls, and cover with damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Garlic Bombs
Ingredients
10 Mozzarella String Cheese cut into quarters
1/4 cup melted butter

Garlic Butter
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup melted butter

  1. Working with one dough at a time, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half, and cut each half into 5 equal pieces. Lightly flour the work surface, work with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough, place 2 pieces of cheese in the middle of the dough, and close up the dough so you have small dough balls.
  2. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush bombs with melted butter, and sprinkle with Asiago, Parmesan and Romano cheese blend. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Make garlic butter, Brush garlic butter on the garlic bombs.

Marinara Sauce

3   1/2 lbs Roma (Plum)  Tomatoes
1 medium Vidalia onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Red wine
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly oil tomatoes and place on a baking sheet with salt, pepper and honey. Roast tomatoes for an hour.  Meanwhile, caramelize onions in a sauce pan, add garlic to the pan.  When tomatoes come out of the oven add tomatoes, red wine, and balsamic vinegar to the pot.  Using an immersion blender or a food processor blend sauce to your desired smoothness.  I like my sauce a little chunky. 


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