Dough balls are a go-to for delicious pizza crusts, but these innovative pre-made products are so much more! Chef Luke from Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust helps you rethink how to incorporate dough balls into your menu offerings with these fun, fast non-traditional uses.
[TRANSCRIPT] Anything But Pizza: Alternate Uses for Dough Balls
In a previous video, we showed you how dough balls are used for many different pizza types — New York-style, deep dish, Detroit-style, and Neapolitan.
Today, we’re doing something totally different! We’re going to make many items that are NOT pizza using a dough ball.
The dough ball we’re using today is about three days old, and it’s not really round anymore. Instead of wasting the older dough, though, you can roll it out and use it for:
Pull one side of the dough ball into a rough square shape, then use a pizza cutter to cut about a third of the curved side to form your calzone crust. The curve is the bottom of the calzone.
I personally don’t use sauce inside my calzones. That’s just not my style, but if you want to, spread some on half of the crust now, keeping it about a thumb-width away from the edge all the way around. Then, sprinkle on a cheese base — again only on half of the crust, staying away from the edge so your dough will stick together when you close the calzone later.
I’m making a simple combination calzone, so now I’ll add pepperoni slices and sausage over the cheese. Top the meat with a little more cheese.
The trick to sealing a calzone edge is water. What do I mean by that? Use your fingers to brush the entire exposed edge of your calzone dough with water. Be careful not to make your fingers soaking wet. You want them just damp enough for the dough to absorb enough water to wrap the edge. Rehydrating the dough makes it sticky again and it will form a good seal so the ingredients don’t bake out.
Fold the remaining half of the dough over the side you prepped with ingredients. Line up the edges and use a fork to crimp the calzone closed. It will look like a pot pie edge.
Done! A super-easy calzone that helps you use your older dough, or it’s a great way to add a fast lunch or dinner special to your menu.
For breadsticks, you don’t need the fancy pastry cutter that I’m using, but it does make it easier to make uniform strips from a flat dough ball with minimal cutting. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, a rocker cutter will work just fine.
The dough ball strips can be used for breadsticks in several ways. You can leave them just as you cut them — flat and wide, or push the sides together lengthwise for a little fatter breadstick.
Personally, I like to brush the dough ball strips with garlic butter, sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese, and twist them lengthwise for a bit of a fancier presentation.
Garlic knots are one of my favorites because they’re easy and super-tasty. If you have it, use the same pastry cutter you used for making dough ball strips for breadsticks for the garlic knot strips too.
Cut the long strips in half so the garlic knots are a “poppable” size instead of a larger roll. Think a bite or two at the biggest.
Brush with garlic butter, and tie the half-strip in one overhand knot. Keep the knot loose so there’s room for the dough to proof up. Ideally, you should have a little hole in the knot tie.
Set the knots on a bakery tray and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. The cheese isn’t necessary, but I happen to like combining Parmesan and garlic butter.
Your garlic knots are ready for the oven. Bake and serve the fluffy baked knots with marinara, ranch dressing, cheese sauce, garlic butter — you name it, you can serve it with garlic knots.
You can also use dough ball strips to make cinnamon rolls, a sweet crowd-pleaser.
Spoon melted butter down the center of the dough ball strip, using the back of the spoon to spread it to the edges of the strip. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Generously sprinkle the buttered dough ball strip.
Gently press down the brown sugar-cinnamon filling, and roll the strip up tightly to create the classic swirl. Place the cinnamon roll swirl-side up in a buttered pan. Repeat until the pan is full.
Drizzle the cinnamon rolls with icing when they come out of the oven. Just like Grandma used to make!
This last recipe isn’t technically a pizza, but close. It’s pizza fries! Spread a par-baked, fluffy crust with garlic butter and top with a generous portion of your usual pizza cheese blend. I don’t use any herbs, but it’s not uncommon to add basil and oregano.
What makes them pizza fries? It’s the shape. They’re cut into narrow strips which resemble a French fry. It’s a simple and delicious addition to your appetizer menu.
Use Dough Balls for All Your Bread Items
Breadsticks, garlic knots, cinnamon rolls, pizza fries or any of the bread items on your menu like loaves of table bread can come from dough balls.
The dough ball is really your menu workhorse. It really can do anything any other dough can do, so don’t let the “pizza dough ball” label limit you.
For more about dough ball-based recipes and additional tasty suggestions, read our Recipes for Pizzerias eBook. Click the button below to access your copy now!