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This recipe is an adaptation of one of my favorite sourdough discard recipes — Anela Malik’s Sourdough Discard Everything Pretzels. Anela (whom I have not met but hope we could be friends, so I’ll call her by her first name) has a fabulous blog. I first learned about her delish pretzel recipe from The Feed Feed when they shared it on Instagram. While I like to try new sourdough discard recipes, Anela’s pretzel recipe, King Arthur Baking Company’s Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread, and Scotch and Scone’s Jerusalem Bagels are where my sourdough discard usually gets used. Until now. Now, I have added these Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots into the rotation.

I love Anela’s pretzel recipe because it is really easy to make and is a great use of discard. Lately though, when I bite into them, I started to think that the consistency of the dough is how I like my garlic knots. I find that garlic knot dough can run the gamut because they are usually made from pizza dough, which can run the gamut. For me, I like my garlic knots to be less puffy. Something about Anela’s pretzel dough just made me think the dough would make delish garlic knots. So, I went for it!

4 sourdough garlic knots stacked in two each next to each other with a garlic knot with a bite taken out on top
These sourdough discard garlic knots bake up delish!

How to Make Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots

Seriously, these are super easy to make. Of course, you need to have sourdough discard. If you have not gotten on the sourdough train, I highly urge you to hop on board! Working with sourdough is so amazingly fun. The best part: you get delish breads as good (if not better) than from artisanal bakeries. If you have kids, sourdough is pure science, so it’s a great education too! If you want to create your own starter, you can check out my Sourdough Starter Guide.

OK, let’s get down to business.

1. Gather the ingredients for the Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots

It is probably best practice to have all your ingredients at room temperature. I (probably like most people) keep my sourdough discard in the refrigerator. If you have the forethought, it is a good idea to weigh out the discard into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. That said, I have made these with discard directly from the refrigerator and they turned out just as good.

To get your milk to room temperature, you can measure out what you need and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. Alternatively, pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds, give it a stir, and if it needs a little more, pop it back in for 10 seconds. You don’t want the milk to be hot. Rather, you want to take the chill out of it. You could certainly use a lower fat milk, milk alternative, or probably even water. I like using whole milk here though because that little bit of fat adds a softness to the dough.

Anela’s pretzel recipe uses bread flour, which renders a fabulous, chewy pretzel. For these Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots, I wanted a slightly less chew to them, so I opted for all purpose flour. (It has a lower protein content than bread flour.) You can use either all purpose or bread flour here, or even try a combination of both.

You’ll also need honey (which I prefer over sugar for these knots), olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. I like the addition of a little garlic powder to the dough just to “up” the heavenly garlic flavor here.

2. Mix and knead

This recipe requires minimal kneading. It’s not like kneading bagels for 20 minutes by hand. Just a 2-3 minute knead to get the dough to really come together and appear smooth and feel just slightly sticky.

3. Rest and divide

Allow the dough to rest 1½ – 2 hours, covered at room temperature. Remember, there’s no yeast or active sourdough starter in this recipe, so the dough will not rise. The purpose of the rest is to let the flour really absorb the liquid and allow the gluten to relax. The rest also allows the dough to come to room temperature if your discard came directly from the refrigerator.

After the rest, divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each one into a rope approximately 12-15 inches long. Tie each one into a knot, tucking the ends under the knot. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and rub just a little olive oil on top of each one. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest another 30 minutes.

three sourdough discard garlic knots in background with a rope of dough looped over itself showing how to make the knot
To shape the garlic knots, roll each mound against the countertop into a rope approximately 12-15 inches long. Then loop one end over the other.
three sourdough discard garlic knots in background with a rope of dough shaped into a knot with the ends hanging to the sides
Then loop one end through the hole. Don’t make it too tight, but there should be no big gaps.
five sourdough discard garlic knots
Tuck the ends under each knot.
one sourdough discard garlic knot ready to be baked
Pretty knots!

4. Bake and shmear

These bake up in about 12 minutes. While they are in the oven, you will melt down some butter in a small saucepan. Once it gets heated up, add minced garlic and let it cook, stirring constantly, for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the flame, and add the salt and parsley. Immediately after the knots come out of the oven, use a pastry brush to shmear the garlic butter yumminess all over the knots. You’ll have plenty of melty garlic butter to shmear the knots a couple of times. Don’t skimp on the shmear!

tray of sourdough discard garlic knots just out of the oven showing that they are lightly browned on top
The knots are done when they are just lightly browned on top, although it is best to take their temperature to make sure the innards are at least 190° F.
8 sourdough discard garlic knots on a plate with some purple garlic surrounding the plate
Immediately out of the oven, shmear the garlic knots with the garlic butter. They are best served warm.

Other Sourdough Recipes

Be sure to check out my other sourdough and sourdough discard recipes:

Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots

4.95 from 89 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
resting time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 2 minutes
Servings 8 knots
Calories 202
Put your soudough discard to use with these easy to make and downright delicious garlic knots.



  • 115 grams unfed sourdough discard
  • 80 grams whole milk, at room temperature
  • 12 grams honey (1¾ teaspoons)
  • 13 grams olive oil (1 Tablespoon)
  • 200 grams all purpose flour (bread flour also works well)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (divided)

Garlic Butter:

  • 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (or 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley)


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the discard, milk, honey and olive oil. Add the flour, garlic powder and salt and mix until combined. Knead for approximately 3 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky and smooth.
  • Shape dough into a ball. Lightly oil the same bowl with approximately ½ Tbsp. of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl to coat one side of the ball and rotate the ball so now the coated side is on top. Cover with plastic wrap and rest on counter in a warm area for 2 hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. (Each should be approximately 53 g.) Roll each piece into a rope approximately 12-15 inches long. Tie each rope into a knot, tucking the ends on the bottom. Place each knot onto the prepared baking sheet and use a pastry brush to brush each with the remaining olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450° F.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes until very lightly browned on top. The internal temperature should be at least 190°F.
  • While the knots are baking, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and parsley.
  • Use the same pastry brush to coat the knots with the warm garlic butter.


  • For slightly breadier garlic knots, use bread flour instead of all purpose flour.
  • If you keep your discard in the refrigerator, weigh it out and let it come to room temperature for about a half hour to an hour before mixing the dough.
  • Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots are best served warm. If making them to serve later, cover them with foil and reheat in a 350° F oven for 5-8 minutes.
  • These freeze well after they are baked. Remove from freezer and wrap in foil. Place in 350° F oven for 10 minutes.
Calories: 202kcal
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: discard, garlic, pizza, sourdough


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg



  1. 5 stars
    I have been looking for the perfect rolls for my extended family’s holiday gatherings and I have finally found it!! This garlic knots recipe is easy to follow and my family likes having me test the recipe out on them. This is a must try!!

      • What can I use as a substitute for the honey?
        We don’t always have it on hand but these are such a yummy snack so I’d like to be able to make them without honey if we don’t have any!

        • Rob Finkelstein Reply

          You can use the same amount of sugar in place of honey.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the idea of these discard knots! I never know what to do with sourdough discard so I end up just discarding it lol. I love that I have something to do with it now.

  3. Jere Cassidy Reply

    5 stars
    Hallelujah to have a great recipe using sourdough discard, I have run out of idea’s and these garlic knots are so much fun to make.

  4. ooo thanks for the reminder, I have to feed my starter today! Love these garlic knots and they would be so perfect for Thanksgiving. I’m interested in trying that cinnamon raisin bread too. So many bakes, so little time!

  5. I am in the process of making. Hoping they’ll come out well. But just want to write that the time is unrealistic. It left out the time it takes to weigh out and roll out the eight knots PLUS the thirty minutes rest time. So I’ve had to delay dinner twice tonight. Hope it will be worth it.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Thank you very much for pointing that out. I’m not sure how some of those times got left out, but I have now revised it to include those times. I hope you enjoyed the garlic knots though!

  6. Would I be able to rest these in the fridge overnight and bake the next morning??

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Sure. I would refrigerate immediately after shaping. In the morning, allow them to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes before baking.

  7. 5 stars
    Made these tonight. So good! Only change I made was to divide in to 12 sections, because I like them smaller. Great recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    What a great way to use leftover discard! Such an easy recipe too! They turned out great both times I made them.

  9. Robyn McCool Reply

    4 stars
    I e made these twice now and they are just so heavy. I’ve followed the recipe exactly I think…so other people feel like they are very dense and heavy?
    Flavor is great!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      They should be a bit dense because there is really no rising agent. The older your discard is, the more likely it will be denser. If you want a less dense dough, allow it to rest much longer and/or add a little yeast to the dough when first mixing. I would start with just 2 grams of yeast.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      The rest isn’t so much to allow the dough to rise. It’s more for the dough to develop flavor. Adding yeast will likely just make it more bread-like.

      • Rob Finkelstein Reply

        Yes. The batch I made in the video is a double batch. As I explain in the notes at the end of the recipe, you can easily double, triple, quadruple, etc. this recipe.

      • 5 stars
        Delicious and delicious easy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  10. Agree with another writer, these were quite dense. Edible, but I was hoping for a lighter/fluffier dough. I’ll try adding some commercial yeast next time!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I state at the top of the blog post that these are “less puffy”. There is no active starter or yeast in the recipe, so there should be no expectation of a dough that will rise or be bread-like. That said, if your discard is old (lacks any activity), the result will be a denser dough. If your discard still has any activity, I suggest letting the dough rest for a full hour or even longer after shaping. If you’re looking for a more bread-like texture, you can certainly add some yeast when mixing the dough.

  11. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I will be making again. What would you say is the best way to store these?

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      Thanks so much! I’m a big fan of the freezer, even if saving them for the next day. I pop them in a Ziplock and freeze. When I want to serve them, I wrap them in foil, place in oven, turn oven on to 400 or 425 F, and within a few minutes of the oven coming to temperature, they are like just fresh baked. (If the oven is already on for whatever else you’re making, just stick them in, also wrapped in foil, for about 10 minutes.)

  12. 5 stars
    These are AMAZING! I made these tonight to pair with baked ziti, and I’m immediately obsessed. My husband took one bite, looked at me, and said “I hope you know what you’ve done. You have to make these every time we make Italian now.” lol I’ll definitely make a double batch next time because one garlic knot is not enough!

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed the garlic knots! They really are perfect with any Italian meal.

      • 5 stars
        These were AMAZING! So easy to make and the flavor was spot on! They develop a crisp edge and the butter shmear was all it needed! No need for any other recipe. I will say the note of “these won’t rise” was needed for my brain. lol.

  13. Kierstin Adair Reply

    5 stars
    I’ve made these so many times & love them! I don’t have honey for them tonight. Is there anything I can sub honey with?

    Thank you

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I’m so thrilled you like this recipe! You can use the same amount of sugar in place of the honey.

  14. If I am wanting to freeze these – do I still apply the warm garlic butter before I freeze them? Thank you.

    • Rob Finkelstein Reply

      I’ve done it both ways. They are just as good either way, but applying the warm garlic butter after reheating them fools everyone into believing you just baked them.

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