I'm often skeptical of "magical" recipes — ones that claim to change my life and solve all my problems. But skepticism doesn't get me fluffy, golden bagels or the fastest-ever homemade pizza.
I'll be forever grateful that I ignored the part of me screaming "Just make the real deal!" and gave the viral two-ingredient dough (just self-rising flour and Greek yogurt) a try. Now I have both a magic trick and a few new delicious recipes up my sleeve — and I've only just scratched the surface on everything this dough can do.
How the Two-Ingredient Dough Rose to Internet Fame
If you haven't seen this dough splashed all over your favorite food blogs, you've likely scrolled past it on Pinterest or double-tapped it on Instagram (the hashtag #2ingredientdough has upwards of 14,000 posts). But where did it originate?
I had trouble tracking down its very beginnings, although I did find recipes that dated back to 2013 (and we even shared a few two-ingredient dough recipes on Kitchn in 2016). But according to Google Trends, it wasn't until January 2018 that searches drastically spiked (and they're currently on the rise again). The January search frenzy likely had to do with the dough being shared amongst the Weight Watchers community, where it became a viral sensation.
In December 2017, Weight Watchers launched their Freestyle program, expanding the number of "zero points" foods from only fruits and veggies to more than 200 items — including Greek yogurt. So it's no surprise that a recipe for a bagel made with just Greek yogurt and self-rising flour that clocked in at just three Weight Watchers points (a standard bagel is 11) became an instant hit.
Once the rest of the internet got ahold of the dough, the recipe began to lose its diet hook and has simply become an easy shortcut for any number of yeasted, bread-y things, from garlic knots and pretzel bites to cheesy pizza and cinnamon rolls.
Obviously, I Had to Try This Dough for Myself
I decided to make bagels and pizza, which seem to be the two most popular uses for the dough. Gina at Skinnytaste includes WW points for all her recipes, so the Skinnytaste bagel recipe felt like the right place to start. Because she makes her own self-rising flour, it's technically a four-ingredient bagel — plus an egg wash and everything bagel seasoning — but who's gonna argue with that? (Certainly not Trader Joe's fans.)
If you've ever made bagels, you know there's a laundry list of steps before you even get to the baking: kneading, rising, shaping, rising again, boiling. So in my opinion, the best part about this dough isn't that it's just a few ingredients (a standard bagel isn't more than five) — it's that all you have to do is stir together the ingredients with a fork, form the dough into bagels, and toss them into the oven. Bagels from scratch in 30 minutes — no boiling necessary? That's what sold me.
Get the recipe: Skinnytaste's Easy Bagel Recipe
The bagels emerged from the oven beautifully golden-brown, and after a few minutes of cooling and a trip to the toaster, I was enjoying my very first two-ingredient bagel egg sandwich. It was delightful.
The inside of the bagel was fluffy and warm, with a slightly tangy flavor from the yogurt that perfectly complemented the salty, seedy topping. There wasn't quite as much of a crust on the bagel as perhaps I would have liked, but honestly, I was so shocked at how tasty and easy it was that I really didn't care (and I bet it would be crispier if I made it in the air fryer). According to Skinnytaste, each bagel is only 152 calories and packs 10 grams of protein.
5 Key Tips for the Best Two-Ingredient Bagels
- If you don't have/can't find self-rising flour, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. You can use any percentage of plain Greek yogurt you like, but it does need to be Greek, or it won't be thick enough to form the dough.
- Your dough should be tacky, but not sticky. If you can't knead it without it sticking to your hands, add a little more flour until you can. After kneading it about 15 times, it should be ready to form into bagels.
- The easiest way to make a bagel shape is to roll the dough ball into a 6- to 8-inch rope, then join the ends to form bagels.
- If you're not concerned about the yolk for health reasons, I prefer to use a whole beaten egg for the egg wash (her recipe calls for a beaten egg white). Brush it all over the bagels, then cover with whatever toppings you're using (don't just sprinkle over the tops).
- For a deeply golden crust, bake the bagels for 25 to 30 minutes total.
As impressed as I was with the bagels, I was perhaps more infatuated with my adorable personal pizzas. I started with the exact same dough as the bagels, but instead of forming the four balls into bagels, I rolled them into four 7-inch circles. I topped them each with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, finely grated Parmesan, and dried oregano, then baked them until the cheese was melted and the crust was golden-brown.
Twenty minutes after I had pulled the Greek yogurt from the fridge, I was sitting down to a piping-hot pizza pie, complete with a deeply browned crust and a spectacular chew. Would it stump me in a blind taste test against a New York-style slice? No way. Would I prefer to make this recipe over a homemade pizza dough any day of the week? You bet I would.
4 Tips for the Best Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough
- Although I typically like to preheat an overturned baking sheet or pizza stone to make pizza at home, this dough is a bit too tacky and needs to bake on greased parchment paper. To ensure it still gets nice and crisp, crank the oven up to 500°F.
- Just like any homemade pizza, you want to use less sauce than you think to ensure the crust doesn't get soggy. (And because these pizzas are especially thin, you need to be extra careful). One-half cup sauce total for these four pizzas proved to be the right amount.
- Opt for a block of low-moisture mozzarella (or a bag of pre-shredded mozz) over fresh (which can also cause sogginess). Start with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan for melty, cheesy perfection.
- Bake the pizzas on the lowest oven rack until the underside of the crust is deep golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Finish them on the highest oven rack until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes more.
If you've experimented with the two-ingredient dough, tell me: What should I make next?