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

soaked pie crust

This post is part of a series: To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.

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:

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.

This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Mommy Club.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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  1. I will have to try this. I was wondering if I could use kefir in pace of the yogurt?

    • Yes, I think that would work. I always treat milk kefir and yogurt as interchangeable. But I haven’t tried it with milk kefir, so let me know if it works! I’d like to know :)

  2. ever try this with coconut flour or almond flour or a blend of? I need gluten free and dont have access to other flour alternatives…

    • That’s a good question. My best guess is that replacing the wheat flour with almond flour would work. Don’t soak it for quite as long, since almonds don’t need it as much.

  3. Maryanne says:

    Right on time! I’m having a mother’s day brunch on Sunday, and I needed a crust for my quiche. I hope it works out!

  4. I did this with buckwheat (commented on FB) and was about to do it again, but saw that Jenny at Nourished Kitchen has a cracker recipe where she adds the butter after soaking. All-in is certainly easier; have you tried the butter-after method? Is there a difference? Is the difference due to this recipe’s all-purposeness vs her dedicated crackerfication, maybe?
    I could just try it, of course, but thought I’d ask first!

    • How did the recipe turn out with the buckwheat? Did you soak it overnight? I have already sprouted and dried my GF grains. I was thinking of trying it but not soaking it as much.

  5. Just made these, and they were delicious! Froze some to test freezability, and we’ve been chowing down all day. I found I liked them a little thicker and just barely golden, rather than thin and crispy. Such a simple recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I see from looking around you used to be grain free gaps and now have reintroduced them into your diet. What are your thought on the leptin issue and how it causes damage to the intestinal lining and leakage over time? Also the link between grains and autimmune diseases? Thanks

    • My short answer is that lectins are too narrow an issue to focus on. If you focus, instead, on the stress response of the body, you will find a greater probability of true healing and finding your way back from allergies. Traditional peoples could digest grains properly. Findings involving lectins, or gluten-intolerence, etc, look like evidence that modern people are stressed and focused on the wrong things, NOT that grains are the enemy. There’s an excellent article on it here: Stress vs. Stress Response, and well as my favorite e-book Diet Recovery (goes into these body systems more in depth.)

      And I’m not just saying all this either. I have done GAPS (if GAPS works for you, go for it! I love this GAPS intro book here.) and I have done this Diet Recovery approach. I’m finding more success with the latter. Lectins are ultimately peripheral to what I have already accomplished with reintroducing grains.

  7. sorry I meant lectin

  8. I have been looking for some cracker recipes! How long do you think these crackers would stay good? Would they need to be refrigerated? Just wanting to get your experience…before I start my own experimenting!

    Thanks :)

    • Once they’re baked you can keep them at room temperature in a container for a few weeks. They are so good!

    • My experience is that they won’t be around very long…because they are THAT good! (Like healthy cheese nips!) They make a great dog, cat and chicken treat, as well! :)

  9. So I tried these with 2 cups buckwheat (presoaked), 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup flax/oat bran. I made little tart shells out of them and added some veggies in some and a pepperoni slice in others, then topped with cheese. Just took them out of the oven (350 for 20 minutes) and they look yummy. Is this like a refrigerator dough that will sit in the fridge for a week, covered? And then take what you need? It made a lot.

    • Yes, I have done that before and it works great to just pull out some dough as needed. I’m glad to hear the gluten-free version worked! Thanks for sharing that.

  10. This looks awesome! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this, so I just mixed some together. It’s doing its thing on my counter right now, and I can’t wait to bake with it! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration. :)

  11. Hi, Would buttermilk work instead of yogurt? Thanks!

  12. Dierdre Beard says:

    This is the first place we’ve lived with an oven that doesn’t have a light. We do have a dehydrator, though. What temperature should it be set to?


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