Pizza Express has finally shared its famous dough ball recipe

With lockdown measures still firmly in place, one thing we’re really missing is visiting our favourite restaurants. But thankfully, many chefs and restaurants are stepping up to the plate and generously releasing the secret recipes for their most popular dishes so we can recreate them at home.

Pret a Manger has already released the closely-guarded-up-until-now recipe for their dark chocolate chunk cookies, and now everyone’s favourite Italian chain, Pizza Express, has followed suit by releasing the recipe for its iconic dough balls.

dough balls
Pizza Express

Pizza Express’ dough balls – a recipe that turned 50 last year – have become so popular that they even now sell premade packets of the stuff in the supermarkets, but now we have the time (and we’re all looking for ways to fill that time), why not make them yourself from scratch?

dough balls packet

Pizza Express Doughballs x24 300g, £2.50, Sainsbury’s

The restaurant chain took to Instagram to share the list of ingredients needed to recreate the doughy beauties – and of course the gorgeous accompanying garlic butter – before sharing the method in an Instagram Story highlight.

Pizza Express dough balls recipe


PREP TIME: 30 mins

COOK TIME: 6 mins

150ml warm water
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
4 teaspoons of butter
0.5 teaspoon of chopped garlic

  1. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees (210 fan assisted).
  2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water.
  3. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface.
  4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture in.
  5. Lightly flour your hands, and slowly mix the ingredients together until they bind.
  6. Generously dust your surface with flour.
  7. Throw down the dough and begin kneading for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft.
  8. Leave dough to rest until soft to the touch but not too springy.
  9. Then it’s ready to roll! Roll dough into a 1.2m long tube.
  10. Chop into 16 chunks and place in an oven proof pan.
  11. Leave Dough Balls to rest in pan for 30 mins.
  12. Bake in oven for 6 minutes until golden. Make sure oven has reached temperature.
  13. Now for the garlic butter… Blend 10ml of olive oil and chopped garlic into a paste Pour over butter and blend with spoon.
  14. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Once you’ve nailed the classic dough ball, look out on Sunday as Pizza Express will be releasing a brand new recipe on Instagram detailing how to make stuffed dough balls. Yum-my.

And if, after that, you still haven’t had your fill of dough balls, check out MOB Kitchen‘s take on Dough Balls Parmigiana, using Pizza Express’ premade dough balls, available at most major supermarkets.

Not a pizza fan? If Wagamama’s is the restaurant you’re missing most, you should try recreating the chicken katsu curry at home instead.