Pizza Express shares its famous dough ball recipe to try during lockdown

Pizza Express reveals its dough ball recipe. This is not a drill. (Getty Images)
Pizza Express reveals its dough ball recipe. This is not a drill. (Getty Images)

In a bid to make us feel a bit better during the coronavirus lockdown, restaurants up and down the country have been divulging their top secret recipes for us to try at home.

These little acts of kindness have seen the likes of Wagamama release its chicken katsu curry recipe and Greggs tell us how to make a homemade cheese melt.

We’re still working on KFC to release its magical blend of herbs and spices.

But now Pizza Express has set the bar even higher by showing us how to make its dough balls at home.

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The garlic dough balls have become the stuff of legend over the years.

It’s no surprise, then, that when Pizza Express asked fans to vote for which of its recipes they’d most like to recreate at home, the dough balls took first spot.

The method - like many of our favourite restaurant. recipes so far - is refreshingly simple and uses ingredients we probably have in the cupboard.

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The recipe makes two portions.


· 150ml warm water – roughly 27 degrees

· 1 teaspoon of sugar

· 15g fresh yeast (or 2 level teaspoons of dry yeast)

· 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)

· 1.5 teaspoons of salt

· Extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210°C fan assisted.

2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10–15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface.

3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture in.

4. Lightly flour your hands and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.

5. Generously dust your surface with flour, throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft. Leave dough to rest until soft to the touch but not too springy.

6. Roll dough into a 1.2m long tube. Chop into 16 chunks and place in an oven proof pan. Leave the dough balls to rest in the pan for 30 mins.

7. Make sure the oven has reached temperature and bake for 6 minutes until golden.

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Now, the dough balls would be nothing without their garlic butter sidekick.

Luckily, Pizza Express appreciates the level of importance we place upon the garlic butter and accompanied its dough ball recipe with the butter recipe, too.


· 10ml extra virgin olive oil

· 4 teaspoons of butter

· 0.5 teaspoons of chopped garlic


1. Blend olive oil and chopped garlic into a paste.

2. Pour over butter and blend with a spoon.

It’s that simple. It was that simple all this time. Get your aprons on, it’s time to make Pizza Express for dinner.