Dorie Greenspan’s Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots 60.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

Although a kind of knot is used to form these cookies, they bake into a shape that's altogether different. The "everything'" mix is made of poppy and sesame seeds, onion flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

For some of the ingredients used here, you will find different weight equivalents for cups and grams in various online sources; we used the amounts in grams listed (per the King Arthur chart).

Make Ahead: The dough needs to be be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days (and again until you're ready to bake; this will help the cookies hold their shape). The everything seed mix can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 1 month. Once you start rolling the dough with the seeds, the cookies need to be baked within a few hours. These cookies are best the day they are made.

60 cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 60 cookies

  • For the sour cream puff dough
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet; 7 grams) rapid or regular active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) warm water
  • A generous 3 1/2 cups (442 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) full-fat sour cream
  • For the everything seed mix
  • A generous 1/4 cup (40 grams) sesame seeds (white, black or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup (36 grams) poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic (garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 tablespoon fleur de sel
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


For the sour cream puff dough: Stir the yeast into the water and let the mixture stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes, until creamy. The yeast might not bubble, and that's fine.

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Scatter over the pieces of cold butter and pulse in long (about 10-second) spurts until the flour looks grainy.

Whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in the yeast, then add this mixture to the processor a bit at a time, pulsing after each addition. Then pulse until everything comes together and you've got a moist dough.

Scrape out the dough and use your hands to knead it briefly and lightly, forming it into two balls of equal size. Place the balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the everything seed mix: Combine the sesame and poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a jar or plastic storage container and stir. Shake or stir well before each use.

For the knots: Clear a large rolling space and have a ruler at hand. Sprinkle the work surface very lightly with flour and more generously with some of the seed mix.

Remove one of the dough balls from the refrigerator and place it on the seeds. Sprinkle some seeds and a bit of flour over the dough and roll it until it's 16 inches long and 8 inches wide, lifting it from time to time to make sure it's not sticking, and sprinkling the work surface with flour and seeds as needed. (It's hard to be exact, but the closer you can come to these measurements and to having the dough be twice as long as it is wide, the more evenly it will puff in the oven.)

With a short end toward you, fold the dough in thirds, as you would a business letter (lift the bottom third of the dough over so the edges meet). Give the dough a quarter turn so that the long side that looks like the pages of a book is on your right. This is the basic technique for this dough and the one you'll repeat, always turning the dough in the same direction.

If your room is very hot and/or the dough is very soft and you think you'll have trouble rolling it, slide it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it into the refrigerator or freezer for 15 minutes. Also, if the dough gets soft and seems to tear as you roll it, patch it as best you can, sprinkling the tear with flour, and give it a chill before carrying on.

Roll, fold and turn the dough 2 more times, always rolling it out on seeds, sprinkling seeds on top of the dough and using just as much flour as you need to keep things moving. When you have completed 3 rolls, folds and turns, chill the dough until you're ready to bake it (or for up to 2 hours).

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Sprinkle more seeds (and flour, if needed) on the work surface and the dough, and roll it out once more into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle. Using a bench scraper, pizza wheel or sharp knife (being careful not to mar your counter), cut the dough in half lengthwise from top to bottom and then crosswise into 1-inch-wide bands.

Cut a lengthwise slit in the middle of each band, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of solid dough at each end. To make the knot, loop each end about three quarters of the way through the slit -- don't tug on the ends and don't pull the ends all the way through the slit (do that, and you'll turn the dough inside out). When the dough is properly knotted, it will have a bump where it is folded on itself and it might have a few twists, which are nice. Place the knots on the baking sheets, leaving a generous inch between them.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes, or until the knots are puffed and golden brown. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and allow the knots to rest for 3 minutes or so, then carefully lift them onto the racks and cool to just warm or room temperature.

Repeat, using second ball of dough.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Dorie’s Cookies,” by Dorie Greenspan (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

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