Best Garlic Knots Recipe

We’re taking garlic knots to the next level. Using the Tangzhong method to make them super soft and fluffy, and layering the dough with a savory garlic butter, these dinner rolls bake up with delicious buttery layers. These show-stopping garlic knots are beautiful and taste amazing!

  • Author: Heather Thomas, That Bread Lady
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 18 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen rolls 1x
  • Category: Breads
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American



Tangzhong Mixture:

  • 5 Tablespoons (71g) water
  • 5 Tablespoons (71g) milk, 2% or whole
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (25g) bread flour


  • the Tangzhong mixture
  • 3/4 cup (178g) milk, 2% or whole, warmed to 90°F/32°C
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 8 Tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (21g) powdered milk
  • 1 & 3/4 teaspoons (11g) fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast (*see notes for sourdough option)
  • 4 & 1/4 cups (520g) bread flour

Garlic Butter Spread:

  • 8 Tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon (2g) dried parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons (11g) Kraft grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/21 Tablespoon kosher salt to taste

For brushing on the baked rolls:

  • 4 Tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted
  • optional: Maldon sea salt flakes


  1. Make the Tangzhong: Combine all of the tangzhong ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until no lumps remain. Turn heat on low and whisk constantly as mixture begins to thicken. Once a thick paste develops, remove pan from heat and transfer the tangzhong mixture into a heat safe bowl to cool. Set aside. Once it has cooled to a lukewarm temperature (around 90°F), you can add it to the recipe.
  2. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the Tangzhong mixture, milk, eggs, 8 Tablespoons soft butter, sugar, powdered milk, salt, yeast and one cup of the bread flour. With the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the mixture becomes smooth, about two minutes.
  3. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the remaining flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing to combine after each addition. Once all of the flour has been added and there are no lumps in the dough, stop mixer and cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Let dough rest for 20 minutes. During this time, the flour will become more hydrated.
  4. After the 20 minute rest time, remove the towel. The dough should feel more hydrated, but will still be sticky. Knead in mixer on low speed for 8-11 minutes. Towards the end of the knead time, stop the mixer and lightly tap on the dough with your finger tip (“touch test”). If the dough still feels quite sticky, add 1-3 more tablespoons flour and fully incorporate into the dough before testing with your fingertip again. When lightly tapping on the dough, your finger should come away mostly clean, the dough should feel soft and slightly tacky. Add more 1-2 more tablespoons if needed – avoid adding too much flour.
  5. Continue to knead for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the dough comes together in one large, cohesive mass. The dough should be close to passing the “window pane test” – you should be able to take a piece of the dough, gently stretch it several inches without it tearing, and have it be slightly translucent.
  6. Bulk Fermentation: Place dough in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Turn dough so that all of it is coated in the oil. Cover bowl and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
  7. Prepare Garlic Butter Spread: Combine all ingredients for the Garlic Butter Spread in a small bowl. Set aside.
  8. Lamination: Deflate dough and turn onto a floured work surface. Divide dough into two equal pieces, each half will yield one dozen rolls. Working with one piece of dough, roll it out to a rectangle, about 8×12 inches. Spread 1/4 of the garlic butter on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around all four sides.
  9. Fold One: On the short side of the dough (the 8-inch side), fold one-third of the dough over towards the center. Be sure the corners and sides are all straight and lined up. Take the other third of the dough and fold it over the first fold, like folding up a letter. Again, make sure the corners and sides are straight and line up. Gently press the dough and seams to seal the edges with the dough.
  10. Fold Two: Flour the dough and countertop if needed. Turn the dough a quarter of a turn and roll dough into a 8×12-inch rectangle again. Spread another 1/4 of the garlic butter onto the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Repeat steps from Fold One. Cover folded up dough with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes before the final roll out. (save the remaining garlic butter for the second piece of dough)
  11. Final Roll Out: Roll out dough one more time to a 8×12-inch rectangle. Be careful not to tear the dough. Flour and flip it as needed. The dough should be soft and pliable and you should be able to lift up on the corners and straighten them out. Using a pizza cutter, trim a tiny portion of the dough from each side to expose the butter layers. Cut 12 strips of dough, one inch wide and 8 inches long.
  12. Shaping the Rolls: Take one strip of dough and gently stretch it a bit. Take each end and tie a knot with the dough, folding the ends underneath the roll. Repeat with the remaining 11 strips of dough. Place each roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart.
  13. Repeat steps 8-12 with the second piece of dough.
  14. Final Rise: Cover the rolls and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. They should pass the “poke test” before baking – gently poke the side of a roll with your fingertip. If it leaves an indent that slowly springs back, it’s ready to bake. If it does not leave an indent, it needs more time to bake. If it leaves an indent that never springs back and seems to deflate the dough, it has risen too long (but you can still bake them! Just check them earlier next time.). While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350°F – it typically takes about 30 minutes for an oven to fully preheat.
  15. Bake: Bake rolls on center rack of oven for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Immediately brush with melted butter. Sprinkle sea salt flakes if desired.
  16. Serve and enjoy hot out of the oven! Store any leftover rolls in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • *For sourdough option, replace the 1 Tablespoon of instant yeast with 1 cup starter (240g). Adjust the flour and milk in the dough recipe to compensate for how much flour and water you are adding with your starter. Keep in mind that rise times will be longer, about 3-5 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. You can also place the dough in the refrigerator for bulk fermentation over night.
  • Make ahead option: After placing your dough in the bowl for Bulk Fermentation, you can put the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and shape & bake later. Allow your chilled dough to warm up for about 15 minutes, after taking it out of the refrigerator, before rolling it out and shaping.
  • You can make the tangzhong ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To use for your recipe, let it come to room temperature before adding.
  • *Be sure to watch the video on this post to see how to laminate the dough and tie the garlic knots.