Tried and tested: Pizza Express' DIY Dough Balls recipe
Finally, the secret formula is OURS
23 March was a dark day for UK pizza lovers. Why? Because it was the day Pizza Express took the decision to temporarily close all of their restaurants due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation – including for takeaway, click and collect and Deliveroo customers.
Ever since this fateful day, we’ve all been left wondering when we’ll get our next delicious doughy fix. Until now, that is. Because the Pizza Express legends have decided to let us in on a little secret: how to make their cult-favourite Classic Dough Balls. Praise be!
When I saw the news on Twitter, I was so excited that I had to bake up a batch IMMEDIATELY. And this is how I got on…
Step 1: Gathering the ingredients
Right, so I didn't have any fresh yeast to hand – but fortunately, I did have a pack of fast-action dry yeast stashed away at the back of the cupboard. And according to the Pizza Express pros, it works just as well. Phew.
Step 2: The yeast part
Due to my dry yeast switcheroo, I didn't need to bother with this step at all. Which was excellent, because I wanted dough balls sooner rather than later – and it saved me a whole ten minutes.
Step 3: Making the dough
Into the bowl it all went! And I know this is quite rogue of me, but... I decided to put in some fresh chives as well (please don't tell Pizza Express). I left the mixture to prove on the oven door until it had doubled in size, ready for step 4.
Step 4: Making the balls
A long 1.2m tube?! Whatever you say, Pizza Express. I rolled the dough into an XXL sausage and cut it into chunks, which I laid out on a baking tray (I'm presuming a baking tray counts as an ovenproof pan).
The pièce de résistance: the garlic butter
If you like garlic as much as me, this is the truly thrilling part. I was so keen to butter the dough balls up that I forgot to take a photo of the satisfying drizzly bit – but here they are, all covered in garlic goodness:
The final verdict
Are they as good as the ones you get in Pizza Express?
Yes. Oh god yes, they are. I wish I could share with you how ridiculously tasty these dough balls are. But unfortunately there aren't many left.
Looks like it's Joe Wicks PE for me for the rest of the week...