Having a night in, watching a film and feasting on this mozzarella stuffed garlic dough balls recipe. They’re great for sharing!
There are days when you’re super busy, rushing here and there and everywhere and burning plenty of calories. It’s those days when I can justify munching on these cheesy stuffed doughballs and smothering them in garlic butter.
Mmmm garlic butter, I am a huge fan!
But this melty cheese middle. This is like heaven for me in dough form!
When we visit a chain restaurant like Pizza Express, doughballs are always on our list to order. But, when you can make them at home, you can enjoy soft, fluffy doughballs filled with cheese and you won’t even have to go out of the front door.
Stuffed doughballs are particularly great for those family movie nights, when you want to curl up and relax indoors. They make great sharing food for parties too!
Doughballs with or without the Cheese
If you aren’t as big a cheese freak as I am and you want plain doughballs, I won’t judge. Just leave the mozzarella out and voila! They will still be yummy either way. You can even try creating your own version of stuffed doughballs with other ingredients hidden in the middle. Some of my favourite doughball fillings include a combination of pepperoni, jalapenos and cream cheese or Pesto, tomato and Parmesan.
If you’re sharing with friends and you are feeling fancy. You can arrange these stuffed doughballs into any shape you like, shape them into a heart, make them smaller, make one huge doughball, whatever you like! Although I am half joking about the one doughball thing.
Can I use different cheese?
Why not? You can use whatever cheese you like to stuff these dough balls. But the meltier the better in my opinion. Some options to try would be cheddar, blue cheese, camembert, provolone or fontina.
Talking of the cheese, I recommend using a block of cooking mozzarella in this recipe, rather than fresh. Fresh mozzarella has more liquid content and can make your recipe turn out soggy. If you want to use fresh mozzarella, I recommend cutting it into cubes, sprinkling with a little salt and leaving it for at least an hour to drain away some of the liquid content before using it.
Serve them Warm!
These doughballs are best served warm, due to the cheese filling. You can always make them ahead however, then cover your doughballs in foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes or so until they’ve warmed through again.
There’s something so satisfying in making recipes from scratch. Especially when it’s so simple and the end result is something delicious. Whilst the dough is rising you can be getting on with other things which is always a plus when you’re a busy mumma and the house needs cleaning for the 50 millionth time in a day!
How to Make Dough Balls
The key to making your own dough balls is to ensure you give yourself plenty of time for the dough to rise. You need at least an hour for the first rise (but the dough can be left for 2 to 3 hours should you need to do so). Once you have stuffed and shaped your dough balls, you will need at least 30 minutes for the second rise. Which is important if you want fluffy dough balls as your end result.
When you create your little balls of dough and envelope the cheese. I recommend to put them with the seal facing down on the baking tray, this tip will help keep the air in your dough and not allow it to escape. It also gives the balls a nice round shape when they are finished.
Garlic Powder Vs Garlic Salt
You will notice in the recipe for dough balls I use garlic granules. In the herb and spice aisle in your supermarket you may notice different types of dried garlic and wonder what the difference is. Garlic powder and garlic granules are essentially the same thing, dried garlic. The only difference between the two is the granule size and either is fine to use for this recipe. Garlic salt on the other hand is mostly salt with a hint of garlic flavour to it. I don’t recommend using garlic salt here as you will be increasing the salt level and decreasing the already subtle garlic flavour in the dough. The reason for using dried garlic instead of fresh garlic in this recipe for dough balls is because the flavour will spread better throughout the dough rather than having pockets of intense garlic flavour with pieces of fresh garlic. There are certain recipes in which fresh garlic is better than the powder, but not this particular one. If you have no other option that to use fresh garlic, you can either omit the garlic in the dough or mince the fresh garlic and spread throughout the dough when you knead it.
If you need to freeze them, I would recommend doing so after you have created your balls and stuffed with the filling. When you want to use them, arrange them on a baking tray, sprinkled with fine semolina and follow the instructions for the second rise. Be aware that they will take much longer as they will need to defrost and warm slightly to begin the second rise.
Sure, be as inventive as you like here, but be aware that some fillings might seep out or make the doughballs a little soggy. You can even flavour them differently in the same serving and have a little surprise with each bite!
They are best when eaten fresh and warm but if you’d like to make them ahead, I would recommend covering them in foil and placing in a warm oven for at least 10 minutes to warm up again. Be aware that if you are using a meat based filling and reheating the dough balls, that they are piping hot in the middle.
Mozzarella Stuffed Garlic Doughballs
- 300 g Strong White Bread Flour
- 0.5 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 7 g Dried Yeast
- 0.5 tsp Sugar
- 0.5 tsp Garlic Granules
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 30 g Butter, softened
- 160 ml Cool Water
- 60 g Block of Mozzarella Cheese
For the Garlic Brush
- 30 g Butter, melted
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- Measure the flour into a bowl.
- Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt, sugar and garlic to the other side.
- Add the oil and butter and begin to mix, slowly add the water until the dough comes together. Once it has all come together don't add any more. You my need a little more water.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough begins to look glossy and becomes more stretchy.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured and knock back to remove the air bubbles.
- Weigh the dough out into balls weighing approximately 30g
- Add roughly 3g of the cubed mozzarella to each piece of dough, fold the dough around the cheese and roll into a ball.
- Arrange the doughballs (you should have about 17) onto a baking sheet in a circle, leaving a little gap in between each one.
- Place the baking sheet inside a pllastic bag and leave to rise again for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 220oc (200oc Fan Asssisted)
- After the second rise, remove doughballs from the bag and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden.
- Mix the melted butter and garlic together and brush over the top of each doughball.
Looking for more dough recipes that are great for sharing?
Check out this Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Foccacia Bread Recipe now.