Pizza Express reveal the recipe for their famous dough balls - here's how to make them at home

Calling all Pizza Express fans! The restaurant has released the recipe for one of its most popular dishes - dough balls.

Published 9th Apr 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Pizza Express have released the recipe for their popular dough balls - and they are easy to make at home.

As the UK lockdown continues, many of us are missing our favourite restaurants but a few eateries are sharing recipes for some of their most popular dishes so that fans can make them at home.

From Wagamama's chicken katsu curry to Nasi Goreng - there have been a wave of recipes now available online during this current lockdown.

Now, after over fifty years of serving its original dough balls, Pizza Express is sharing the top-secret recipe for the very first time, giving super fans the chance to satisfy their cravings in the comfort of their own homes.

The team at Pizza Express say: "It’s high time these iconic balls of dough got their moment to shine – so serve, eat and enjoy the tastes of Pizza Express. Don’t forget to share your bakes @PizzaExpress on Instagram."

How to to make dough balls at home

For the dough balls (makes 2 portions):

You’ll need:

· 150ml warm water – roughly 27 degrees

· 1 teaspoon of sugar

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

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

· 1.5 teaspoons of salt

· Extra virgin olive oil


1. First up, 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

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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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For the garlic butter 

You’ll need:

· 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. Pour over butter and blend with a spoon

For more inspiration and information on PizzaExpress’ ‘Cook at Home’ range, visit the Pizza Express website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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