Homemade simple bread maker dough balls with Vampire-proof garlic butter -recipe

When I took my latest batch of homemade dough balls out of the oven a few minutes ago I turned and saw a queue of hopeful children doing their best impression of that kitten from Shrek - all big eyes and pleading expressions.

They knew full well I was making them to take to a friends house for a casual snacks and TV night but they love them so much they begged for "just one" and a smear of my powerful homemade garlic butter.

It struck me that whenever I make them for friends, church gatherings, girls nights in, book club etc everyone asks me how I make them. So I'm sharing the very simple recipe here now in case anyone else loves Pizza Express style dough balls and doesn't know how to make them.

I start by making a basic pizza dough. I make my dough in the bread maker because I'm fundamentally lazy. I think all bread makers have a dough setting. You can of course make it by hand you domestic goddess you.

Here's what you need for dough balls:
240ml water. I don't faff about making it lukewarm - straight out of the tap works for me unless you have really cold water.
2tbsp olive oil. Garlic olive oil if you love garlic as much as me! Any old oil if you don't have olive oil!
3 cups strong bread flour - white or wholemeal but I prefer white for fluffy light dough balls.
1tbsp sugar
2tsp salt 
2tsp yeast.  I use the little sachets you can get in supermarkets. I find the stuff loose in tubs doesn't work for me even when I mess about adding crushed vitamin C tablets or facing north or whatever.

Add in the order your bread maker usually asks for. I do water, oil, sugar, salt, flour then yeast on top. If you are using time delay on bread maker don't forget to make sure the yeast doesn't get wet.

Go away and paint your nails or watch tv or wash up or something. 

When bread maker makes its "I'm Done" noise, generously flour a large baking tray and flop the dough onto it. I then use a large sharp knife to half the dough, then halve the halves and so on, until you have around 16-24 chunks. Roll gently into balls if you are fussy. Leave as chunks for a rustic look - they kinda turn into balls anyway.

Heat oven to about 200 degrees C for a fan oven - convert for your oven. Leave dough balls (pref in top oven above heating oven or somewhere warmish) for about 5 mins to puff back up while oven is warming.

Bung in and cook for about 7-9 mins depending on oven. Ever so slightly brown is perfect - too brown and they lose their doughy squishiness but are still nice - just more like mini bread rolls.

Take out and leave to cool slightly (they'll come off tray easier) and make garlic butter.

You'll need:
about 2 rounded tbsp (or more) salted butter. You can use a butter substitute but I love real salted butter.
about 1tsp chopped garlic. adjust quantity to personal taste. I often cheat and use the (smoked) stuff in jars or squeezy tubes but obviously you can use fresh, smoked or plain
about half a tsp lemon juice (optional but gives a lovely zing!)

smush the ingredients together - I use a fork - then transfer into ramekin or similar - something wide enough to allow dipping of ball into butter.

Pile balls into a bowl, separating any which have stuck together. Assume smug expression and present to you family/friends/host at PTA bring and share buffet.

Balls can be prepared in advance and reheated via microwave or a very short time in hot oven - they are definitely best hot so butter melts into them.

Alternatively you can roll them in garlic butter and serve immediately.