These little, filled dough balls are my ‘go-to’ bake when I want (or need) to come up with a freshly baked, savoury snack. So they don’t look ‘fancy’ but there are hugely versatile and can be adapted to suit whatever toppings you may have in the fridge, or cupboard.
I first made these dough balls with just flour, salt, yeast and water but these definitely need the olive oil to give them a light, fluffiness. I have therefore adapted these from my ‘Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt Breadstick’ recipe. I used a variety of toppings; olives, feta cheese, basil and plum tomatoes, red pepper paste and cheddar cheese. You can also use pesto, or garlic butter. Basically, tailor them to what you have, or fancy serving.
Not only are these an easy, delicious, versatile, snack or appetiser, perfect for parties and entertaining, or taking ‘out and about’, they can be part baked! Yes, I did say ‘part baked’ – you can do all the preparation and enjoy these fresh at a later date. Basically you bake the dough balls for 4 minutes, allow to cool completely, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Bake within a few days, whenever you want to enjoy them warm.
What is not to like about fresh, warm dough balls….?
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting surfaces
- 10g fast action yeast
- 10g salt
- 350ml tepid water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Semolina, for dusting (optional)
- Your choice - olives, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, plum tomatoes and basil, pesto
- Oil a bowl, or plastic container, with olive or vegetable oil.
- Put the flour into a large bowl, or the bowl of a freestanding mixer. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the water and start to mix with a dough hook attachment. Mix for about 5 minutes before adding the olive oil. Mix further until the oil is combined. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes less wet and more elastic. Place the dough into the oiled bowl, or container. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, or seal the lid of the container.
- Allow to prove for a couple of hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Prepare two baking trays by lining with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C, or Gas Mark 7.
- Once proved, tip the dough onto a work surface dusting with flour and semolina. Sprinkle more flour and semolina onto the damp, top side of the dough. Divide the dough equally into 24 portions. Shape each portion into a ball and space 12 balls, equally on each baking tray. Take your topping/filling of choice and push down into the centre of each ball. Repeat until all dough balls are filled. Allow to prove for a further 15 minutes or so.
- Bake the dough balls for about 15 minutes until they are a light golden colour.
- Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- To enjoy the dough balls freshly baked on another day, part bake these. Bake as above but for only 4 minutes. Cool completely and store in a food bag in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, preheat the oven, as above, and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes.
Source: A variation on my ‘Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt Breadstick’ recipe. Adapted from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How To Bake’.