Buttery, garlicky and soft, these dough balls from Paul Ainsworth make a lovely treat for kids and adults. The dough can be used for focaccia, too, so once the kids have made the dough balls, get them to try and make the Italian bread.
Start by making the dough. Pour the dried yeast, plain flour, salt and 1 dash of olive oil into a food mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix until nicely combined. You can also do this by hand.
Keeping the mixer running, gradually pour in the warm water and leave to mix for 5 minutes until you have an elastic and smooth dough.
Turn out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5 minutes - with a little instruction, the kids may be able to take over this step.
Get your little helpers to rub the inside of a big bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and use cling film to cover. Set aside at room temperature.
Preheat your oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.
Add the garlic cloves to a small ovenproof dish. Add the olive oil, cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes until tender.
While the garlic is in the oven, get the kids to mix the parsley into the softened butter until well combined.
When the garlic is ready, gently lift the cloves out of the oil and place in a blender. Blitz until you are left with a smooth paste.
Mix the garlic paste into the butter and parsley mixture and season as preferred. Store in the fridge until needed.
Heat your oven to the highest possible temperature.
Separate the dough into 15g (1/2oz) portions and roll each portion into a ball. Place on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper, keeping the balls 5cm apart.
Leave the balls to prove at room temperature. When they have doubled in size, bake for 7–8 minutes in the preheated oven.
When the dough balls are golden on top, take out of the oven and tip into a large bowl. Turn the oven down to gas 4, 180˚C, fan 160˚C.
Add 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter into the bowl and toss until the butter has melted and covered the dough balls (add more of the garlic butter if desired).
Return the dough balls to a baking tray and bake for another 4-5 minutes, until the butter starts to bubble and achieves a deep golden colour.
Remove from the oven and toss the dough balls with 1/2teaspoon of sea salt and some chopped parsley.
Cut each piece of prosciutto in half lengthways and use to wrap around the dough balls. Serve warm and watch the kids tuck in!
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