Garlic is an amazing foodstuff to include in your diet. In fact it is a bit of a [amazon_textlink asin=’0718178440′ text='”superfood’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’fe27cf6a-2507-11e7-82dc-e56ee8517186′]”. It has so many different beneficial attributes but the main ones are nutritionally it contains vitamins C and B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, selenium and other antioxidants (notably allicin). Healthwise, it is believed that[amazon_textlink asin=’B00SIT83FO’ text=’ garlic in the diet’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’2a28c3ba-2508-11e7-b8cf-2fbb7b79c9e5′] can protect against some cancers, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease,  cholesterol and the common cold. The evidence to back up these claims is limited and not really proven yet. However, garlic in the diet does help to increase the circulation of the blood which in turn helps to reduce the risk of some cardiovascular problems, reduce cholesterol,  lower blood pressure so there are more benefits to including garlic than not. Using garlic in cooking removes the need to add salt to a recipe which reduces the salt in the diet and the risk of high blood pressure. The main problem with garlic is the strong aftertaste which tends to seep out of every pore the following day. 🙁

Today, my daughter and myself are making our own homemade Garlic Doughballs. The dough has already been made and is rising very nicely for a few hours. We are not going to eat the dough balls till tea time so they have a long time left to rise.

Whilst cleaning, this morning, I started to think about how else you could use garlic in baking. There are loads of ways to incorporate garlic in cooking homemade meals but in baking I don’t feel there are so many. My statement yesterday about “garlic cupcakes” got me thinking and the closest thing that you could bake with garlic in the recipe which would resemble a cupcake is a savoury muffin. There are some  recipes on Pinterest already using garlic in the recipe. I think if I made a [amazon_textlink asin=’1900518996′ text=’Savoury Muffin ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’56c9a0f7-2508-11e7-a274-f1d3ed66d9b2′]I would use garlic, basil and sundried tomato all of which are fairly strong flavours in their own right and are a great combination when added together. This is something I am going to have to try in the near future.

Back to the dough balls. They have been shaped into small balls, with the help of olive oil to stop them sticking too much. The dough was very soft and sticky but very easy to make. This recipe is based on a recipe which I saw on “Tesco Real Food website by Paul Ainsworth”.  I have taken the basic idea and added a few tweaks. The balls are being allowed a final proving before the garlic butter is added. I have seen many different ways to make dough balls over the years and this one seems to be an easy enough method for my daughter to follow. I am leaving her in charge whilst I finish off a few jobs. The family will be eating these later with pizza and chips. A lazy dinner, but that’s okay, once in a while.

[lt_recipe name=”Garlic Doughballs” servings=”16″ prep_time=”2H30M” cook_time=”50M” total_time=”3H20M” difficulty=”Intermediate” print=”yes” summary=”Nutritionally, one doughball contains 96 calories, 3.8g total fat (5% daily total fat), 13.6g total carbohydrate (5% daily total carbohydrate), 0.8g fibre (3% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet).” image=”” ingredients=”For the dough:;8oz plain flour;1tsp salt;1 satchet of dried yeast ;2 tbsp olive oil;160ml warm water;For the garlic butter:;1/2 bulb peeled garlic;50ml olive oil;4oz butter;2tbsp torn basil;salt and pepper;;;;” ]In a bowl, weigh out the ingredients for the dough and mix together to form a soft dough.;Oil the surface lightly, before kneading the dough for 10 minutes.;Place in an oiled bowl and leave to rise till doubled in size.;Remove form the bowl and shape 16 dough balls before placing in a greased baking tray.;Leave to prove for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.;Preheat the oven to gas 6.;In a ovenproof dish, place the garlic cloves and the olive oil. ;Cover the dish and roast for 30 minutes.;Remove from the oven and transfer to a glass jug. ;In the same dish place the butter.;Put the butter in the oven to melt.;In the glass jug, add the torn up basil, salt and pepper and then the melted butter.;Blend together to form a paste.;When the doughballs are starting to brown, pour the garlic butter over the top.;Place back in the oven for a further 15 minutes until the doughballs are golden brown.;[/lt_recipe]

For the garlic butter, I am not just crushing the garlic cloves into some butter as I would normally. This time, I am roasting the garlic as I feel it makes the flavours less harsh and gives a more rounded taste to the dish. My daughter wants to add some herbs to the butter as she did when she made garlic dough balls in Food Technology  at school so  I have agreed to let her add basil only. In the original recipe, parsley is used but I feel basil blends very well with garlic so I am happy with the substitute.  I think the basil will be enough along with the standard seasoning. The remainder of the basil will be used as garnish for the pizzas tonight and a tomato and basil soup, which I am going to make next. When I start cooking I can not seem to stop.

The dough balls look fantastic and the kitchen smells delightful. I can’t wait for these dough balls to be finished so I can actually do a taste test. The smell of the roasted garlic was so much better than the raw garlic and I think I will be roasting it more often as a vegetable to have with roast dinners. If I am going to up the intake of garlic in my cooking I will have to invest in some parsley to take away the lingering aftertaste. 🙂 Another idea I am going to have to try is to roast the garlic and mix it with some mayonnaise to make an instant dip and accompaniment to crackers, pitta breads, salads etc. There are so many options, that I will take back what I said about garlic, as the list is endless as to what it can be added into. Whether baking or cooking, it is a vital ingredient in the cupboards and should not be ignored. The dough balls are finished as is the homemade soup. I am sharing the Garlic Doughballs recipe today. I will share the soup recipe at a later date. If anyone can think of a cupcake recipe which has garlic as an ingredients please drop me a line below. I would love to know thank you.