Pizza Express release the recipe for their dough balls

Missing your Pizza Express fix? Chain releases recipe for its famous doughballs so they can be made at home amid coronavirus lockdown

  • Pizza Express have shared their recipe for their famous dough ball starter
  • The Italian chain closed their doors last month amid the coronavirus pandemic
  • Fans have shared their delight saying they’re going to make the dish at home 

Pizza Express fans have shared their delight after the high-street chain released the recipes for its famous dough balls.

Last month, the Italian favourite closed all its restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic, but foodies are now hoping to recreate the much-loved starter at home.  

The dough balls are easily whipped up by mixing, plain flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt and olive oil.

And the garlic dip is made from just three ingredients – a mix of chopped garlic, butter, and olive oil. 

Pizza Express have shared how to make their famous dough balls at home as their restaurants closed their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic


FOR THE DOUGH BALLS (makes 2 portions)


  • 150ml warm water – roughly 27 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 2 level teaspoons of dry yeast)
  • 225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil


1. First up, preheat the oven to 230C / 210C 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

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



    • 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


    Pizza Express has served the dough ball for more than fifty years and have kept the recipe a tightly guarded secret in that time.

    But it’s followed McDonald’s and Greggs in taking the unprecedented step of sharing top-secret recipes for the very first time. 

    After posting the recipe to Instagram and Facebook, dozens of fans said they were desperate to make them. 

    ‘Next baking sesh please’ wrote one, while another said they would be making them as an ‘urgent’ matter.  

    Fans have been asking for more recipes, including the hot jalapeño dough balls (pictured) which come with a spicy salsa

    Others said they’d be sticking to Pizza Express’ at home range, because they couldn’t get hold of yeast or flour.

    ‘Wow how very generous of you to share the recipe….though being naturally lazy, I’ll stick to buying them for that “oh so perfect” dough balls I know and love’ one fan added. 

    ‘Thank you. Would love to do this but can’t find yeast or flour anywhere!! Any chance you could share your recipe for your mushroom bruschetta – that is perfection!!!’ said another 

    After posting the recipe to Instagram and Facebook, dozens of fans said they were desperate to make them

    ‘OMG, really, perfect as I don’t live in the UK, and I can only enjoy them whilst on holiday!’ one superfan commented. 

    ‘I miss you Pizza Express x’ added a third.

    ‘Game changer! Let’s make them and eat them together and pretend we’re having our pizza express date’ said another.  

    On March 23, the popular Italian pizza chain closed all their stores as the government announced a nationwide lockdown for all but essential travel and work. 

    In an announcement at the time, the chain said: ‘We’ve now taken the decision to temporarily close ALL our UK Pizzerias including our Deliveroo, Click & Collect & Takeaway service, effective immediately.

    ‘As events unfolded over the weekend and with the increased social distancing being mandated, we no longer believe it remains in the best interests of our customers and teams to continue to operate in this way.

    ‘We’ll open our pizzerias again as soon as it is safe to do so. We’ll get through this. Together.’   

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