Saturday, 30 May 2015

The 'Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough' Recipe.

I am really excited about this! I want to share with you a recipe that has me absolutely fascinated! It's the 'two-ingredient pizza dough' recipe. The two ingredients: self-rising flour and Greek yogurt.


This dough creates a fantastic pizza base with a fluffy interior, perfectly crispy crust, chewy texture and it tastes delicious! Not just that, this dough is adaptable to be used for other bread dough recipes such as calzones and stromboli; flat, naan and pita breads; scones and scrolls!


What I wanted to find out was what make's this recipe work. After a bit of research and investigating this is what I came up with:

Classic pizza dough has flour, yeast, a little sugar, liquid, salt, and an oil component. The flour is responsible for the structure of the pizza crust because of gluten development and starch gelatinization. The yeast eats the sugar creating carbon dioxide - leavening for the air incorporation - and other products that give tell-tale flavors associated with fermented products. The liquid helps along starch gelatinization and rehydrates the yeast. Finally, the oil provides some softness to the dough, and the salt creates a little flavor as well as reinforces the crust structure.


Two-ingredient pizza dough uses Greek yogurt and self-rising flour. Self-rising flour contains a leavening agent and some salt. This takes the place of regular flour, yeast, and salt in the original recipe. The Greek yogurt is where the science comes in. Greek yogurt has quite a bit of protein in it as well as water and a little fat (please don’t buy the fat free version). The water in the yogurt hydrates the flour and therefore the leavening agent which begins to produce carbon dioxide - especially in the presence of heat. This carbon dioxide incorporates air in the crust just as the yeast-produced carbon dioxide does. The extra protein is also important. The yogurt’s protein addition creates a stronger gluten structure without excessive kneading or proofing like most bread products require. Finally, getting a Greek yogurt with at least 2% fat is important in order to create some softness in the pizza crust. That means that after cooling, it will retain a great texture, so please cut your calories elsewhere!


The final important component is the flavor. Yeast has byproducts from fermentation that are responsible for the smell you recognize when you walk into a bakery. It would seem that that yeasty flavor isn’t possible with this two-ingredient dough. Think again! Because Greek yogurt is a fermented product, the flavors exist that you associate with yeasty breads (even though lactic acid bacteria is at work in the yogurt instead of yeast). And voila! A super-easy two-ingredient pizza dough!


Searching the net, I found there were several versions of the recipe. What I noticed were the ingredient ratio's and how this affected the dough-making process. Some recipes would start by mixing together a 1:1 cup flour to yogurt ratio then adding an extra cup of flour while kneading to bring the sticky dough together. Some recipes started with a 2:1 cup flour to yogurt ratio, gradually mixing the dough to a crumbly form then continue mixing by hand, bringing the dough together. I have provided instructions for both as I tried each method, both providing the same results. I guess it depends on which you feel most comfortable with.


The other thing I noticed was that the ingredients are measured by volume (cups) and not weight. From practice, for successful results in baking, measuring ingredients by weight is the best. Well I fear to say that this would be the only time I felt that wasn't necessary. The ratio however is what's important and the dough-making process (kneading) in producing a soft and pliable dough.


Now if you do not have self-rising flour, you can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup plain flour or wholemeal flour or a combination of both.  Mix together and use as directed in the recipe. You can also use pre-mixes of gluten-free self-rising flour and plain gluten-free flour, adding baking powder and salt as above. If your using your own blend of gluten free flour remember to add some sort of binder, 1/2 teaspoon of either xanthan gum, guar gum, ground chia seeds or psyllium husk powder per 1 cup of homemade gluten-free flour mix.


Now for the recipe!


UPDATES! 

Mixing Method: I found this way of bring the dough together the most effective, quickest and easiest way. Starting with a 1:1 flour to yogurt ratio, mixing to form a very sticky dough then adding 1/4 of the remaining half of flour, combing to bring a less sticky dough together then adding the remaining flour to make a workable dough.
Rolling Method: I found the dough to be very workable and didn't like to be over kneaded, enough to bring it to a soft and pliable dough, just a few minutes depending on the size of your dough. Unlike regular pizza dough where you really have to stretch and work it into a base, by gently pushing the dough out while rolling and gentle pressing out with your fingers ensures the crust will have a lighter texture and fluffy interior. Rolling and pressing too hard, compresses the dough resulting in a dense crust.
Pre-Baking Pizza Base: One big step many people skip in the pizza-making process is pre-baking the pizza base. Baking the base in the oven for 5 minutes or so before putting on toppings prevents the dreaded 'doughy crust'. Also pre-baking is a good idea when you have several ingredients or ingredients that are wet or will get wet when heated e.g. zucchinis, squash, tomatoes, etc or if your using a thick or watery sauce.

The Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough


This makes 1 10 inch round pizza with a thin 'n' crispy base. For larger or thicker base double recipe. If using dough for things like calzones or scrolls, double recipe. Or use your own discretion.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt*

1 cup of self-rising flour, plus extra to dust kneading area and rolling pin

*Note: I have tried using several types of yogurt and the most successful one for the recipe is just plain Greek yogurt. Forget low fat Greek yogurt and regular yogurt. And watch out for Greek yogurt that contains thickeners! The cultures, taste and thickness of plain Greek yogurt has a huge influence in the result of the pizza base.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200C with a pizza stone inside. If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a baking tray instead but I highly recommend a pizza stone. The key to getting your pizza crust to have good texture is using a really hot oven and preheating the tray or pizza stone, first before placing the pizza on.


2:1 Ratio Method: In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and self-rising flour and mix with a spoon. At the start it will be quite crumbly but as you mix the dough it will gradually come together. At this point (see photo below) I found it easier to use my hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.


When your dough looks ready for kneading (think play dough), turn out onto a floured bench top and knead until it forms a soft and pliable dough. Note: to knead just fold the dough over itself and push/press, fold and press, fold and press etc. As you knead, the dough becomes tacky just add a sprinkle of flour but err on the side of less flour. Too much flour will make a tough dough.



1:1 Ratio Method: In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and half of the self-rising flour and mix with a spoon until a very sticky dough has formed.


Spoon out onto a well floured bench top and knead, gradually adding the remaining half of the flour to work into a soft and pliable dough. The dough will be very sticky and stick to your hands but as you add the flour and knead, the dough will gradually come off your hands and all incorporate together.


Updated Mixing Method: In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and half of the self-rising flour (1/2 cup) and mix with a spoon until a very sticky dough has formed. Add 1/4 cup of flour and mix to combine into a not so sticky dough. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and mix again to bring a workable dough together. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench top and knead to form a soft and pliable dough, adding a sprinkle of flour if dough becomes tacky. Shape into a ball.

On a sheet of baking paper, roll out dough using a floured rolling pin to form a pizza base of your preferred shape and thickness.

Updated Rolling Method: Gently flatten dough out with your hands to form a thick cylinder shape. Place on a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper (the tray aids in easy transporting of pizza onto preheated pizza stone or baking tray in oven), then gently, not pushing down hard, roll out dough using a floured rolling pin to form the pizza base. Then finish forming the base by gently using your fingers, pressing the dough out to form your preferred shape and thickness. Using your fingers you can ensure even thickness of base. 

Update: Pre-Bake the Pizza Base
Gently prick the dough with a fork in several spots to prevent it from bubbling up and slide onto the preheat pizza stone or tray and pre-bake pizza dough for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is firm and dry to the touch but not quite browned. This time will change depending on how thick or thin your crust is. Remove base with baking paper from oven back onto transporter tray and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Return pizza to oven and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling and base is golden.

Top with your favourite toppings.


Then slide pizza with the baking paper onto the preheated pizza stone or tray and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling and base is golden (10-12 minutes).


I've had alot of fun with this recipe making numerous pizza's as well experimenting with making calzones, stromboli, flat breads and scrolls, all of which worked out brilliantly! Please I employ you to put your aprons on and and start perfecting your technique with this recipe. It is so surprisingly pleasing!

9 comments:

  1. Hi Samantha :-)
    This looks very delicious :-) I really have to try this. Did you use your own self-rising flour blend or which flour did you use?
    Regards Doris

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    1. Hi Doris!
      This recipe is truly a wonder! I have tried it with store bought gluten free self-rising flour mix, with my own gluten free flour blend and with regular self-rising flour, all of which finished with great results!

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  2. samantha! what happened to you? Your blog is fabulous. I'm making your sandwich bread now and have a 4 day old starter percolating along. I miss your posts!

    Cat

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    1. Hi Cat.....I'm still around and still baking my bread. I feel I have done enough research on gluten free bread baking for now. I have a newly adopted family of fiance and 2 boys so my time is now filled with the looking afters of them lol!

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  3. Good sharing, for healthy purpose, Chia seeds offer the highest volume of Omega-3, as well as addition fiber (soluble and insoluble) along with vitamins or perhaps minerals you don’t usually get whenever you take sea food oil. Chia seeds giving you long lasting energy during the day moving in deep, restful sleep during the night time. May read this article about Chia seeds at:
    http://kidbuxblog.com/chia-seeds-is-the-most-extremely-versatile-superfood-and-vegetarian-supply-of-omega-3/

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  4. Did you double the recipe? I could not open my dough more than 9 inches and it was very thin.

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    1. Yes I double recipe to make a larger thicker base pizza :-)

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  5. Thank you Samantha! It was delicious, I just froze one to see how that works.

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