Rosemary Garlic Knots and Psychoanalysis

O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied, New Orleans? I so wanted to find my roost, but it is slim pickings in the Crescent City housing market, unfortunately. Patience. Deep breaths. Meditation to break the very unproductive ruminative default thought loops, “Where will we live?…. Where will we live? ….. Where will we live?”

I’ve been reading Janet Malcolm’s rather disappointing book on psychoanalysis, in which I found this lovely quotation on the difficulty of this impossible profession: “You will feel discouraged, guilt-ridden, depressed, lost, confused, and deluged by the quantity of data and by its ambiguity and complexity. You will suffer back pain, indigestion, headache, fatigue—all the affliction the flesh is heir to—because of the guilt you constantly feel about not understanding the data [that is, the data of what a patient tells you, not, as I might be tempted to read in at this point and time: “medical school” or “house-hunting”]… Analysts keep having to pick away at the scab that the patient tries to form between himself and the analyst to cover over his wound. That’s what the patient keeps trying to do—it’s what’s called resistance—and what the analyst won’t let him do… He must keep the surface raw, so that the wound will heal properly.”

Lovely analogy. Psychoanalysis as debridement of inflammatory defenses.

By analogy, I’ll liken baking to debridement of circular, inflammatory rumination. Just knead. Don’t fret. Just knead. Ooh, the smell of garlic. The simplicity of appetite.

 garlic wheat knots1

Garlic Knots

Adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day


1 3/4 cup Water

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 Tb Sugar

1 cup Sourdough Starter

approx. 5 1/2 cup all-purpose Flour

Garlic Coating

1/8 cup Olive Oil

2 T unsalted Butter

4 cloves Garlic, finely crushed

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley

Sea Salt to taste

Combine water, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, and starter in a bowl.  Add flour.  Mix to incorporate flour, cover, and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in volume.

Chill the dough for a bit, then set up your knotting station.

Put out a large wooden cutting board and oil liberally.  Grab a rolling dowel or pin and oil.  Grab a pizza cutter or something similar to slice dough in strips. Put container of flour within easy reach. Line several sheet pans with parchment paper and place within easy reach. Oil your hands to help keep dough from sticking to them. Divide the dough in two parts to make it easier to handle.  Take the first half, slap it onto the oiled board several times to flatten.  Using the dowel, spread into an even rectangle approx. 5″x16″ and 1/2″ thick. Slice the rectangle into 1/2″x5″ strips.

Rotate the board 90° and sprinkle dough strips and board with flour.  Taking the strip nearest to you, roll it back and forth to create an even rope.

garlic knot dough strand

Tie into a knot (over, under, and through) and place on lined sheet pan.

garlic knots dough stage

Place knots about  1 1/2″ apart. After each sheet pan fills up, cover with a dry sack towel, and let rise. Preheat oven to 400° F

After knots have doubled in size, take off dry sack towel and glaze with olive oil, minced garlic, a sprinkle of salt, and rosemary if you’re in the mood.

garlic knots dough

Place sheet pans in the oven.  Bake for approx. 12-15 min. or until golden.

garlic wheat knots garlic wheat knot

Haiku #94 (April 4)

What would happen if

you lived an entire day and

noticed nothing new?


Haiku #95 (April 5)

She sings “In my life,

Lord, be glorified,” toward the

Easter-bloomed alter.


Haiku #96 (April 6)

We comb each street with

nostalgia looking for a

home we’ve yet to know.

Haiku #97 (April 7)

Emergency room

in the parlor—blood pressure

checks on paper dolls.

3 thoughts on “Rosemary Garlic Knots and Psychoanalysis

  1. Oh gosh, that is a very ugly image of psychoanalysis! In your loving and beautiful hands, the scab and wound that this author portrays will be more like flower petals being pulled back to get to the center of the flower, or bread crust being broken to get to the middle of the bread 🙂

    Re: Haiku # 94, did you meet someone who, or have a day yourself where you felt like you hadn’t noticed anything new? I’m curious!

    1. I think it was someone who remarked “there isn’t anything new under the sun” and, naturally, I balked

      1. Yes, what a lie! 🙂 I cannot imagine what holding that view would do to one’s experience of life. There are so many amazing, unfolding wonders all around.

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