Recipe: Dough balls

Every Friday, the children get dough balls for tea. It’s the end of the week, they’ve eaten well all week, mum’s exhausted and the kids are hyper knowing that the weekend’s here.

So I keep tea simple. I mean very very simple. Dough balls for the children and pizzas for the adults. It’s a great recipe to use if you want fuss-free Saturday nights too.

These dough balls I’m talking about are like the ones you get at Pizza Express. You know the ones, the scrummy overpriced dough balls, which go for something like £5 for 6 balls.

This recipe can make 20 dough balls and 2 adult-sized pizzas.

500g strong white bread flour
handful of wholemeal flour
10g dried yeast
pinch of salt
1 tsp of sugar
80g of coarse semolina flour

Mix it all up with 300ml of warm water or until a nice doughy texture is achieved. Cover bowl with towel and leave aside to proof.

I’d make the pizza dough Friday mornings, which takes about 20-30 minutes. Leave it to proof all day. Either roll the balls before picking the kids up or after the school run. It’s so quick it doesn’t really matter. If the kids tire of dough balls, the dough’s turned into pizza instead.

Twenty dough balls for tea is plenty, which they have with garlic butter (a tiny squirt of garlic paste mixed into butter) or rosemary sauce – they can’t get enough of it.

It’s not that nutritious a meal, but the kids eat so well the rest of the time, I think it’s fine they have some fun finger food once a week. It’s just bread and butter if you think about it.

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How I got round tea time tantrums

Wait until the meal finishes before you light up

Tea time always strikes fear in me. As the hour hand creeps towards 5pm, my heart slowly reaches a standstill. The terrible hour is nearly upon me. Where the children, if not fed on time, rip into each other with a kind of vehemence uncharacteristic of them. Tears, screams and malicious shoves are par of the course.

Then we hit critical point where it’s mum versus children. Equally tired, I have to play peace negotiator, cook tea and do general domestic chores (which I hate by the way). Shouting and barking ensues. From my direction of course. Many a time I have reached out to that glass of wine in a bid to soothe frazzled nerves.

Low blood sugar levels and end of the day tiredness makes for a deadly cocktail. We’re all ready to kill one another by 6pm.

So about three weeks ago, I decided something had to change. Or I risk going stir crazy living every single day – for the rest of my life or until the kids left home – like that.

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