Italian Kalamata-Gorgonzola Knots

Elke Roby, Lincoln, Nebraska

Ingredients

¼ cup warm water (110°F - 115°F) 
¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 (¼ ounce) packages RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast
1 cup milk (110°F - 115°F)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 - 5 ¼ cups King Arthur® Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup basil pesto 
½ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives 
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, finely crumbled
16 whole pitted Kalamata olives
KWC Test Kitchen Note:    The recipe uses 1 (6-ounce) jar of Kalamata olives

Directions

1. Rinse and drain olives. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast. Wait 5 - 10 minutes for it to foam (proof). 
2. Stir in the milk, remaining sugar, eggs, 2 cups flour, oil and salt; mix 2 minutes. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Switch to dough hook and knead 10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover; let rise until doubled. 
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Turn dough onto a large work surface and roll into a 24” x 16” rectangle. Spread pesto lengthwise onto half (24” x 8”) the dough. Top pesto with chopped olives and cheese.
4. Fold plain side over filling. Lightly press down dough and seal edge. Starting on 24” edge, cut into 16, 1 ½” strips.
5. Hold one strip on both ends, twist 2 to 3 times; take one end and fold it over the other then bring it back up through the center. Place on prepared baking sheets; tuck whole olive in each knot. 
6. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 375°F.
7. Bake 15 - 18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage. 

Yield: 16 large knots.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 KNOT, 96g)

310 calories, 9g protein, 35g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 15g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 30mg cholesterol, 77mcg folate, 420mg sodium, 0mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 62mg calcium.