Warm, fluffy dough balls with lashings of melted garlic butter, and probably an extra pot of garlic butter ordered to the table. It’s the stuff of foodie dreams. Can you tell we’re craving an order of PizzaExpress’ dough balls?

We’ve done our testing and tasting in the kitchen to bring you a fool-proof vegan dough ball recipe, complete with a vegan garlic butter recipe. It’s quick, it’s easy and most importantly, it’s tasty enough to fill that dough ball-shaped void. So, give our PizzaExpress inspired recipe a go and get ready for the compliments to roll in.

Simple vegan dough ball recipe.

Makes: 20 dough balls / Prep time: 90 minutes (with proving) / Cooking time: 5 minutes

Dough ball recipe - tastecard

What you’ll need.

Dough ball ingredients.

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 5g sachet dried yeast
  • 150ml warm water
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Garlic butter ingredients.

  • 100g vegan butter (or regular)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


1. Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Separately add your water and olive oil together and then mix into your dry ingredients.

2. Dust your surface with flour, pop your dough on and knead for 10 minutes.

3. Lightly grease a mixing bowl with olive oil and put your dough back in. Leave to prove for around an hour and cover with a tea towel. You want your dough to double in size.

4. Now you need to ‘knock back’ your dough. This means taking it out of the bowl and gently kneading five times to get the air out.

5. Split into 40 pieces, shape into balls and place them slightly apart on lightly flour-dusted baking sheets.

6. Prove your dough by covering it with a tea towel again and wait ‘til it’s doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan or gas mark 6).

7. Place in the oven and bake until golden, which usually takes 5-8 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

8. Whilst cooling, mix your butter, garlic and seasoning together for your homemade garlic butter.

Light, fluffy, homemade dough balls, done.

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