These soft and fluffy dough balls are deliciously garlicky, with a side serving of garlic and herb butter for dipping.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
Everybody loves a garlic dough ball don't they, and these little beauties are just so easy to make at home. They bake together in a round tin to create a lovely tear-and-share centrepiece for entertaining.
Serve them warm from the oven, with a side-serving of garlic and herb 'butter' to dip them into, for a delicious and fun starter or side dish.
Whilst the overall time to make these is 2 hours, in fact the hands-on time is short - just 15-20 minutes or so, and easy to fit around cooking your main meal.
📝 What you need
Strong White Flour It is important to use strong white bread flour, so that it has a high enough gluten content to make a light and fluffy bread. Don't substitute in plain or self-raising flour as your dough balls will be very disappointing!
Dried Fast-Action Yeast makes breadmaking at home very quick and easy. You can get it either in sachets (which tend to be 7g, so you will have 2g left over), or in tubs.
Olive oil makes bread dough soft and fluffy. It doesn't need to be extra-virgin, any standard olive oil will do.
Vegan butter A good quality block margarine is best for this delicious garlic and herb butter. I like Flora Plant Block and Naturli Block margarine.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Dough Balls
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Add the warm water and olive oil and bring together into a soft dough.
Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes then put it back into the bowl, cover and leave for 45 minutes until it has doubled in size. Divide the dough into 16 equal dough balls and arrange in a round baking tin (around 23cm / 9 inches).
Leave the dough balls to rise again, this time for around 30-45 minutes. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Whilst they are baking, make the garlic butter, then brush over the dough balls as they come out the oven, and serve the rest on the side for dipping.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Only use as much liquid as you need in the dough. All flours are different, so you may need slightly more or less water and oil to form a dough that is soft but not sticky.
You can slow down the proving time by keeping the dough in the fridge. This might be handy if you want to make the dough ahead of time, then bake your dough balls just before serving. You could do the first prove overnight in the fridge, or the second prove (once you have balled up the dough) for 4-6 hours. Just remember to bring the dough balls back to room temperature before baking them.
Yes - they freeze well. I would recommend part-baking them for 9-10 minutes, leaving to cool then freezing in an airtight container. You can then bake them for 4-5 minutes straight from the freezer until they are golden brown and warm throughout.
If you want perfectly even dough balls, you can weigh the dough for each one. There should be 30-35g of dough per ball, if you are making 16 dough balls from the quantities below.
You could flavour the butter with sun-dried tomato paste, olive tapenade or a little chilli paste, or just leave the garlic out altogether and make them herby dough balls instead.
Dough Balls with garlic and herbs
For the dough balls:
- 300 g strong white flour
- 1 teaspoon dried fast-action yeast (5g)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 200 ml warm water
- 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
For the garlic butter:
- 75 g vegan 'butter' / block margarine at room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful fresh parsley
- Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add most of the water and olive oil and mix to a soft dough. You may not need all the liquid, just enough to make the dough soft but not sticky.
- Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, stretching and folding it until it is smooth and soft. Return it to the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 45 minutes.
- Lightly oil a round baking tin (roughly 23cm / 9 inches round).
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball then place them into the baking tin slightly spaced apart.
- Cover the tin and leave the dough balls to prove for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Bake the dough balls for 12-14 mins until golden and well risen.
- Whilst they are baking, make the garlic butter by mixing the vegan butter, peeled and crushed garlic cloves and finely chopped parsley.
- When the dough balls come out of the oven, brush them liberally with garlic butter. Serve them whilst still warm, with the remaining garlic butter on the side for dipping.
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