Lucy's Friendly Foods

Garlic Tear and Share Dough Ball Wreath

We love sharing dishes at Christmas, or actually at any time of year. There’s something special about something we can all pounce upon with relish, no matter what our own dietary requirements are; it somehow makes the dish all the more festive and fun.

As it’s so dark, cold and wintery there is nothing like some warm freshly baked bread to warm the cockles of your heart and add a bit of joy to a simple lunch, as a sharing snack or even a tasty starter. These garlic doughballs are loosely inspired by a wonderful Jamie Oliver recipe, but I’ve changed the quantities, make it friendly and also a bit more festive by presenting the doughballs in a ring or wreath shape, making this the perfect addition to any festive table.

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These cute little garlic and herb infused doughballs are place around a small oven proof dish for the second prove and bake, giving rise to a wonderful festive shape as well as the perfect receptacle for a delicious dip. Be warned though the dish will be hot so you want a dip than can be safely heated, such as this marinara sauce I’ve used here (which features in The Friendly Baker cookbook), but a tapenade or pesto would be equally delicious.

I’m not the biggest garlic fan, so these doughballs are fairly subtle, if you’d rather a bigger punch of garlic I’d recommend increasing the garlic in the recipes, up to double the amount depending on your own personal taste.


One of the genius additions is the breadcrumbs on the bottom of the dish, these turn golden crispy and garlic infused adding a wonderful extra additional crunch to the soft doughballs. For an even more festive feel, you could always adorn the cooked wreath with herbs and olives.

Garlic Tear and Share Dough Ball Wreath

Dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan Serves 4-6
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 6


  • 1 baking sheet, baking paper and a small oven proof dish


  • 400 g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp or 4g fast action dried yeast
  • ½ tsp fine table salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 230 ml tepid water
  • 100 g dairy-free margarine
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 small bunch of parsley about 1 tbsp when finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 g soft breadcrumbs


  • Place the bread flour, yeast, salt, oregano and olive oil in a stand mixer or large bowl. Pour in the water and bring to a rough dough. Knead for up to 10 minutes until smooth and bounces back when pressed
  • Cover and leave to double in size which will take at least an hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the garlic ‘butter’, combine the margarine, garlic, lemon zest, herbs and seasoning.
  • Once risen, prepare the baking sheet – line with baking paper and place an ovenproof small dish in the centre. Spread ¼ of the garlic butter over the lined baking sheet and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.
  • Knock back the dough and divide into 30-34 even sized small balls. Arrange these around the central dish, on top of the garlic butter with gaps between each ball, as they will rise and merge together.
  • Dot the remaining garlic butter all over the top of the doughballs. Loosely cover and leave to prove for a second time. This will take about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.
  • Season the risen doughballs and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Eat as soon as possible.
  • Any remaining doughballs will keep until the next day if covered and then warmed in a medium oven for 5 minutes.

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