• 150g mozzarella block, cut into 1cm cubes


  • 2 tsp fast action yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp fine salt


  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp each of flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and basil, finely chopped


  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 200g passata
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • a few basil leaves, chopped, plus a little more to serve


  • STEP 1

    cheesy garlic dough balls step one

    Mix the yeast, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sugar into 300ml warm water in a jug until the yeast has dissolved.

  • STEP 2

    step 2

    Tip the flour and salt into a bowl, and pour over the liquid. Knead in the bowl until you form a rough ball, then knead on a floured worksurface until smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

  • STEP 3

    step 3

    Knock the dough back into the bowl with your hands, and divide into 18 balls (weigh them to make them identical, if you like).

  • STEP 4

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 4

    Roll each piece into a smooth ball, pushing a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each. Pinch the dough to seal in the cheese.

  • STEP 5


    Put the dough balls into an oiled ovenproof frying pan or baking dish (approx. 25cm diameter) leaving a small gap in between each to allow for proving. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave again for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 6

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 6

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. To make the herb butter, melt the butter then add the crushed garlic and herbs off the heat. Season well.

  • STEP 7

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 7

    For the tomato dip, fry the sliced garlic in a drizzle of olive oil for a minute, then tip in the passata, vinegar, and a pinch of chilli flakes and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes until saucy, then stir in the chopped basil and cool.

  • STEP 8

    Cheesy garlic dough balls step 8

    Uncover the dough and brush the dough balls with 2/3 of the garlic butter. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed.

  • STEP 9

    Brush with the remaining butter and leave to cool for a few minutes. Serve with the tomato dip scattered with a few basil leaves, more chilli and a drizzle of olive oil.

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