From pizza bases to fresh rolls, you can prepare and enjoy this dough recipe every which way and any which way.
I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes, especially late in the afternoon when I’m running out of time to prepare supper. But not only do I seldom have the time to wait for yeast to work its magic, on a personal note, I don’t have the confidence either. Putting all my eggs in one basket, hoping my dough will rise, or that I haven’t put too much yeast into my mixture that I end up tasting it – the unpredictability, the uncertainty, the sheer fragility of it all, the yeast-life is not for me.
Instead, let me share with you my super-versatile four-ingredient dough recipe. From flatbread, to pizza bases, fresh rolls and even doughnuts tossed in cinnamon and sugar, you can prepare and enjoy this recipe every which way and any which way – and, excuse the pun, it won’t let you down.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 cups double cream yoghurt
In a bowl, add your flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda, and mix together. Add your yoghurt (when measuring, add slightly less than a full-cup amount at a time, but more on that below) and bring your mixture together with your fingers. Work through it a bit with your hands, but it’s not necessary to knead it.
You’ll be left with a fairly wet dough that sticks to your fingers. When you get to rolling out your dough, make sure you use a well-floured surface and rolling pin – and you can add oil to your hands to make working with the dough a little easier too. Bake your dough in the oven or fry it off, according to what you’re making.
The two ingredients in this recipe that make all the difference are the bicarbonate of soda and the yoghurt.
In place of the all-too-unpredictable yeast is your bicarb – your leavening agent – that ensures your dough will rise. In your flatbread or pizza base, it will create little bubbles when fried in the pan or baked in the oven, resulting in an airy, light bread or base.
As in most recipes, the bicarb reacts with an acidic agent to make the dough rise. In this particular recipe, that agent is the yoghurt.
In the same way buttermilk, for example, works with bicarb in many a cake recipe, the yoghurt reacts, but also tenderises the gluten in your dough, ensuring you get a soft, fluffy and light final product.
When your dough first comes together, however, you’re going to want to add more flour due to the wet and sticky nature of the mixture – hence the note to add just a little less than a full cup of yoghurt. But the more flour you add to the mixture, the denser and heavier it becomes. Try to stick to the recipe and instead flour your work bench and oil your hands.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of this recipe, you can do so much with it. I’ve ventured into aloo parathas and chili-cheese flatbread. Not to be dramatic or anything, but this four-ingredient recipe changed my life.
I love using this dough for a pizza base! Roll it out a little thicker than you would if you’re making flatbread and bake it at 180°C (160°C with the fan on) for 5-7 minutes. You’ll see it begin to puff up and rise, but it shouldn’t have colour on just yet. Add your toppings and bake for an additional 5 minutes or so. You’ll see the edges begin to brown and crisp.
If you’re rolling out your dough for flatbread, pop it in the oven and bake it at 180°C (160°C with the fan on) for just 5 minutes – and no longer. It will crisp up fairly quickly.
Sneaky pro tip: This bread is a lovely addition to a mezze platter.
Cook’s note: To make this recipe vegan, you can try and substitute the dairy yoghurt for coconut yoghurt – it will likely add a subtle, deliciously nutty, sweetness!