Dough balls are, year round, the perfect no-fuss fingerfood. They’re light but filling; suitable for children, adults, and in-betweens; and equally appropriate as pub grub or a dinner party apéritif. I’ve added a recipe for garlic butter here for the dream combination (and an excellent sandwich spread the next day if you have any left over) but dough balls can go with chocolate spreads, creamy cheeses and fruity jams alike. This recipe makes 20 dough balls.
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon unrefined golden caster sugar
7g easy bake yeast
1-2 teaspoons salt
15g unsalted butter, softened
200g salted butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
300ml warm water
Salt and pepper
1. Start by preparing your dough. Stir the sugar and yeast into the salt and flour in a large bowl, then rub in the unsalted butter with your hands, slowly adding water until you have a somewhat sticky, soft dough.
2. Lightly dust a clean surface with extra flour and knead the dough on it for about 10 minutes, until it is stretchy but smooth.
3. Separate your dough evenly into around 20 pieces and roll the segments into balls. Distribute these pieces on a baking tray, making sure they all have room to expand. Grease some cling film with either butter or oil and place over your baking tray, then leave it in a warm place for half an hour. Preheat your oven to 210°C.
4. While you wait, make your garlic butter. Whip your softened salted butter for a few minutes till it’s fluffy in a bowl, then mix in the garlic, and some parsley, salt and pepper to preference. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge till you’re ready to serve.
5. At this point, the balls should be twice the size they were. Leave them in the oven for 10 minutes, turn the temperature down to 185°C, leave for about another 10, keeping an eye on them. When they’re golden brown and sound hollow when lightly tapped, they’re ready. Serve hot with your garlic butter, some chocolate spread, and any other dip you fancy.