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Mary Berry’s Dough Balls with Garlic Herb Butter

These easy tear and share dough balls from Mary Berry Everyday make for a crowd-pleasing starter or side. These dough balls can be prepared in advance for stress-free hosting.

From the book


Everyone loves to buy dough balls when they’re eating out and this is a quick way to make them at home. They’re so versatile too – enjoy them on the side with a pasta dish, or with a topping as a canapé or starter. This recipe makes 20 fairly large-sized balls, but you could easily make 40 smaller ones, if you preferred.

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325g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
7g fast-action dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
250ml lukewarm water
For the garlic herb butter
100g butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped

Essential kit

You will need a 25 x 30cm (10 x 12in) roasting tin.


You will need a 25 x 30cm (10 x 12in) roasting tin, well greased with oil.

Measure the flour, yeast and olive oil into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a separate part of the bowl from the yeast (see tip) and stir in the warm water. Mix to combine, then bring together with your hands into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a worktop dusted with flour and knead for 5–10 minutes until smooth. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise or prove in a warm place for 1–1½ hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the herb butter by placing the butter, garlic and parsley in a bowl and mixing together.

Once the dough has doubled in size, tip on to a floured work surface and knead again – this is known as knocking back. Divide into 20 even-sized balls and arrange in the roasting tin in rows of four across and five down, so they are just touching. Cover with cling film and leave to rise again or prove in a warm place for 30–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7. Bake the dough balls in the oven for 15–18 minutes until golden, well risen and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and, using a pastry brush, spread the herb butter over the dough balls. Alternatively, just dip the hot bread into the soft butter.

Cook time: 15-18 minutes, plus rising

PREPARE AHEAD: Keep the dough balls in the fridge to prove more slowly, and take out to finish rising before cooking. Or the dough can be made and stored overnight in the fridge, then shaped the following day.

The herb butter can be made 1–2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.

MARY’S EVERYDAY TIPS: When measuring the ingredients into the bowl, it’s important to keep the salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl so the salt doesn’t kill the yeast and therefore stop it working.

The butter can be put into small ramekins for individual servings.

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From the book: Mary Berry Everyday

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