For me , dough balls are a bit of a guilty pleasure because they are just so squidgy and doughy. These are flavoured with garlic and parsley and contain a little ball of mozzarella in the middle (for extra jazz- they are perfectly nice cheese free) which melts in the oven. My boyfriend always buys the supermarket version of dough balls when left alone for the day, and I can smell their artificial garlic waft for the rest of the week. If you can’t afford pizza express dough balls, homemade come a close second. They are very easy to make, and have a real authentic taste. In fact, homemade dough balls might even come first. Serve straight out the oven, dipped in a little melted butter.
makes about 16
250g strong white flour
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus a little extra for roasting and kneading
30g fresh parsley
1 and a 1/2 teaspoon of fast-action yeast
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 large ball of mozzarella
1. Preheat the oven to 180•C. Peel the cloves of garlic out of their skin and roast in a drizzle of olive oil for approximately 15 minutes. When you bring them out the oven, mash them into a garlic pulp/puree.
2. Whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 125ml water. Add the garlic puree to this and whisk lightly again. This makes up the wet part of your dough, but you may need a sprinkling more water.
3. Chop 30g of fresh parsley into relatively small pieces of leaves. Measure out 250g strong white flour into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Add the parsley and stir in. Next add the wet mixture a bit at a time until a dough starts to form. Tip it out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5 minutes-ish. The knead isn’t too important, because the dough balls are only small and meant to be doughy but kneading is quite therapeutic anyway so I would recommend 5 minutes. Leave to prove in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough is double in size.
4. As the dough is coming to the end of it’s prove, cut the mozzarella into approximately 16 little cubes, roughly 1.5cm cubed.
5. Cut the dough into ~16 smaller lumps. Stretch each lump out carefully and put a little mozzarella in the middle of the dough. Wrap the dough around the cheese and roll lightly under one palm on a lightly oiled surface until it is fully incase and the dough is smooth. Repeat this with the other lumps of dough. Cover them and leave them to prove on a lined baking tray for a further half an hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 200•C. Bake the dough balls for about 15 minutes until turning lightly golden. Eat straight out the oven with a little softened butter.