• 650g strong white flour
  • 7g sachet of easy blend yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 30mls olive or hemp oil
  • 50mls milk
  • 325mls warm water
  • Semolina for lining the tray

Brotherly love is a wonderful thing. I witness small acts of kindness, adoration and pain on a daily basis since pushing our 9lb 3 oz bundle of cheek and brutishness into the world just over 2 years ago. The baby of our family is the archetypal little brother. He whinges, he bites, he shouts and he bounces through life. He is our blonde bombshell of impish pleasure. But there are a few things I just don’t understand about this sibling thing.

Today I have witnessed the following:

- Little brother standing on the back of big brother. LB smiling whilst BB cries out for help.

- LB gather a plate for BB even though he doesn’t need one. (“It’s for my bruvvver”)

- LB hit BB on the head with a wooden train and reduce BB to tears.

- LB hug BB hard around the neck proclaiming “I love my bruvver.”

- BB chase LB around the house, LB giggling like a loon.

- LB eat all his dinner time dough balls and then proclaim “I want more. I want my bruvvvers.”

Reader, I am an only child. I will never get it. They love each other, they hurt each other, they defend each other, they ignore each other. Amazing. What lucky boys.

One year ago: Bake me not chocolate cake  and Experimental banana loaf

Two years ago: Light and sweet carrot cake and Peanut brittle

Dough balls

Makes between 60 and 90 depending on how small you make them. I know that’s a lot. May I suggest you make the dough and either freeze half of it just after first proof stage, or use the rest of it to make pizza. Or just halve the recipe though that does involve having half a sachet of yeast hanging about which is the kind of thing I find annoying.

Ingredients:

  • 650g strong white flour
  • 7g sachet of easy blend yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 30mls olive or hemp oil
  • 50mls milk
  • 325mls warm water
  • Semolina for lining the tray

Easy peasy. Pop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands or a dough hook. Once combined knead for 4 minutes in a stand mixer (with the dough hook again) or for about 7 – 8 minutes by hand on a greased work surface. Don’t add more flour – this will make the dough balls less than light. Then pop back into the bowl once the dough is smooth and elastic looking and feeling. Cover the top of the bowl with clingfilm and leave to double in size. Then knock the dough back by flipping it over and squashing it down with your hands.

Take a roasting tray (better than a baking tray as easier to drape with clingfilm without restricting the growth of the dough balls later on for the second proofing) and sprinkle with semolina. Then using scissors, cut pieces of dough about the size of a walnut and roll between both palms in a circular motion. Then pop onto the semolina lined baking tray. You can pop a little flour on the roasting tray instead to stop the dough balls from sticking but they’ll be less crunchy on the bottom.

Once you’ve rolled the first batch and filled your roasting tray, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until double the size. The time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen. Then bake in a preheated, very hot oven for about 10 – 15 minutes. Check on them after about 7 minutes to be on the safe side. My oven is officially rubbish and only goes up to 200C, I would prefer 220C for these babies but you can’t have it all.

Serve with homemade garlic butter (butter with crushed garlic added for those who are time poor… butter with crushed roasted garlic in it for those with a little more time) as a starter or with Nutella as a pudding. We even dipped ours in yoghurt today. We’re experimental with dough balls.

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