REAL FOOD 101: How to Make All-Purpose Yogurt Dough

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soaked pie crust

In Nourishing Traditions, there are separate recipes for pie crusts, crackers and various breads.  I love to try different recipes for those baked goods, to see which is my favorite, which is easiest, which works for a particular meal or pairing.

But this all-purpose yogurt dough is one of my favorites, because it is so versatile in and of itself.  I have personally made it into whole grain crackers, into a round for a pizza crust, and turned it into a pie plate for a flaky crust.  Plus, it’s a lot easier than any pie crust or pizza dough recipe I know!

I love learning the basics.  I find that having a solid foundation can mean all the difference when you are in the kitchen.  Whether you are learning a new nutritional fact, a new real food technique, or you’re improvising in the kitchen, that foundation can support you.

That’s why I am so passionate about my REAL FOOD 101 series.  I plan to keep it going until we’ve covered all the basics I can think of!  You can buy the first volume here. 

I particularly love that this recipe is soaked, rather than relying on sprouted flour.  Of course, sprouted flour is very handy when it comes to cookies and other confections that are not easily soaked overnight.  By soaking, the phytic acid is more readily neutralized, and I have noticed that my family has an easier time digesting it.

Equipment Needed:

  • large mixing bowl, measuring cups & spoons, wooden spoon
  • kitchen towel, dinner plate (optional) & dehydrator (optional)
  • rolling pin & pizza cutter

Note: This recipe is extremely versatile.  Play with it and see what you can use it for.  I would like to try it as a chicken pot pie crust as well as quiche, as old-fashioned snickerdoodle cookies, and also to make hand pies with jam filling.  The possibilities are endless.

All-Purpose Yogurt Dough

1 cup yogurt (buy yogurt starters here, how to make yogurt here)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter here)
3 1/2 cups freshly ground flour (buy whole grains here, how to prepare grains here)
1 teaspoon salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt and butter.  Add flour and salt, mixing with a wooden spoon until too difficult.  Use fingers to completely combine.
  2. Cover with a towel and a dinner plate to keep dust and bugs out, but to allow it to breathe.  Let soak in a warm place for 12-24 hours (like in a dehydrator or on in your oven: turned off but with the light on).
  3. The next morning, remove the dough and roll out with sprouted flour or arrowroot powder to the desired shape and thickness.
  4. For crackers, I roll 1/8-inch thick and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until browned.  These crackers taste remarkably like cheese crackers, even though they contain no cheese!
  5. For a pre-baked pie crust I use aluminum foil and pie weights or beans to bake at 450 for 8 minutes, then remove the foil and beans to bake for another 5-6 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  6. For pizza crust I bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until set but not browned, then top with pizza toppings and bake according to the recipe you are using.
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