An easy thin crust yoghurt pizza dough; for all those who love this popular cooking hack, but are after something a little more authentic. Made with only simple standard ingredients: a basic gluten free flour blend, plain yoghurt, yeast and olive oil.
Many years ago I posted a very basic 3 ingredient yoghurt pizza dough on my blog. And to this day it’s still by far one of my most popular recipes. It’s easy to see why, really, as it combines everyone’s favourite things when it comes to cooking: 1) it takes zero effort to make but 2) it also tastes pretty good.
For those two reasons, it’s been a regular in our house for years. And having played around with the recipe quite a bit since then, I thought I’d share a different version of it today. While the original has more of a deep pan vibe, this is its crispy thin crust yeast risen (for that proper pizza flavour) counterpart.
Why make a yoghurt pizza if you lose the easy fuss-free side of it?
Well, for a start this version uses a lot less flour. It yields 2 large pizza with 150g instead of 250g of flour. That makes it a bit healthier/less carby and as a bonus, it’s a good way to ration flour during this pandemic. But if you’re reading this from the future and have access to bread flour/as much flour as you want and couldn’t care less about carbs, then feel free to try my authentic restaurant-style Italian thin crust pizza.
The yoghurt also gives the crust a great texture, not to mention it adds a bit of extra nutrition. It’s also high in protein which can be really helpful if you don’t have access to bread flour (which contains more protein than standard flour blends and helps produce a better sturdier crust).
My tips for a perfect thin crust yoghurt pizza:
1. You can cook it right away if you’re short on time. Even without letting the dough rise, the yeast will at least give the crust that classic pizza flavour that’s missing in yeast-free pizzas. BUT:
2. It’s best to let the dough rest. Giving the dough time to rest and rise makes all the difference. It allows the flour to absorb the liquids and helps produce a much better texture. 1 to 2 hours in a warm place. Optional: you can then leave it overnight (and for up to 3 days) in the fridge for even better results.
3. Refrigerate your dough before kneading and rolling. This step is optional, but it does make the dough easier to handle/less sticky and less likely to stick on the baking paper.
4. It’s not necessary, but you can swap a part of the flour for tapioca starch (if you have any). No more than 1/4 of the flour amount though. It can add a bit more flexibility to the crust.
5. Make sure you run a spatula under your pizza base before cooking to make sure it’s not sticking to the baking paper.
Can I freeze them?
Yes. After part-baking your pizza bases alone without any toppings, instead of carrying on with the cooking process, just let them cool, wrap in cling film, place in a ziplock sealable bag and freeze.
And here it is, my upgraded thin crust yoghurt pizza recipe:
- 50g warm water
- 1 + ½ tsp dry active yeast (I used Allinson)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 150g plain all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Freee Foods/Doves Farm)
- + extra flour for kneading/rolling (about 2-3 Tbsp per pizza)
- 100g plain Greek-style yoghurt
- ¼ tsp salt
- 15g olive oil, lard or butter (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 to 2 tsp xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn't already contain it)
- Swap 10g of the flour amount for tapioca starch
- Mashed canned tomatoes, tomato purée or rustic cassata
- A bit of olive oil
- Herbs of your choice (I use oregano or basil)
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Water (if using tomato purée, enough to dilute it)
- Cheese (50/50 shredded mozzarella and grated extra mature cheddar is the best)
- Any other topping of your choice
COOKING TEMPERATURE: 260C (500F) or as high as your oven can reach
BAKING TIME: 5-7 minutes (for the pizza base alone) + 5-7 minutes (with toppings)
ACTIVATE YOUR DRY ACTIVE YEAST:
- Warm up 50g of water in the microwave or kettle and add into a small bowl. Dip your finger in and check the temperature. It should be quite warm, somewhere between lukewarm and boiling hot. If it’s too cold or too hot (boiling), it won’t work.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Then add your dry active yeast, stir quickly and leave the bowl to sit in a warm place for a few minutes, until it becomes frothy (see picture collage above). What I do is either place it on a window sill directly in the sunshine or turn the oven on to the lowest setting and place the bowl near or on the opened door.
MAKE YOUR PIZZA DOUGH:
- Mix the flour, salt, yoghurt and olive oil (or melted lard/butter) along with the frothy yeast mixture with a spatula until you reach a smooth thick lump free batter.
- At this point you can either skip the next step and go right into kneading the dough and prepping your pizza bases, but for best results, rest the dough.
REST YOUR PIZZA DOUGH:
- Cover your bowl with cling film and let it rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
- At this point you’re ready to cook your pizza. But for an even better texture, you can choose to rest the dough even longer – in the fridge overnight or even up to 3 days.
KNEAD THE DOUGH:
- Dust some flour onto your work surface (I like to work on a sheet of baking paper), add the dough and sprinkle some more flour on top.
- Then knead the dough briefly, adding more flour (little by little) until you have a smooth dough ball. It should still be relatively sticky, but manageable with your hands. You’ll probably need about 4 to 6 Tbsp of flour for this.
- Divide your pizza dough into portions. This recipe yields 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small pizza.
PREPARE YOUR PIZZA BASES:
- Lay down a fresh new sheet of baking paper (we need to work on baking paper to prevent sticking), sprinkle a generous amount of flour all over and add one portion of the dough on top.
- Flatten the pizza dough with your hands, sprinkling a bit of flour on top throughout the process if necessary to prevent sticking, until it’s super thin (don’t worry, it won’t fall apart during the cooking process). If it breaks apart at any point, just correct breakage by squishing back together with your fingers.
- Then carefully run your spatula underneath to make sure it’s not sticking to the baking paper and push some extra flour under there while doing so (see picture collage above). This step is very important or your pizza may end up stuck to the paper! Again, correct any potential breakage with your fingers.
COOK YOUR PIZZA BASES:
- Pre-heat your oven to 260C (500F) (or the highest temperature your oven can reach) for at least 30-40 minutes and place your pizza tray in there so it’s pre-heating as well. The secret to a perfect pizza is high heat!
- Once ready, transfer your pizza base (still on the baking paper) onto the hot baking tray and cook for 5-7 minutes. Or until slightly golden with bubbles of air forming.
- Take it out of the oven and remove the baking paper so it cooks directly on the tray for the rest of the cooking time. Run your spatula underneath again if necessary to unstick it.
- Add your pizza sauce, cheeses and toppings of your choice.
- Cook your thin crust yoghurt pizza for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted and the outer crust has turned super crispy and golden brown.
Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think either here in the comments or on insta!