Home · Baking Basics · How to Make Pie Dough How to Make Pie Dough Author: Maryanne CabreraPublished: Oct 21, 2022 View Recipe2 ReviewsThis post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy. Learn how to make flaky pie dough using two different techniques. Choose the method that works best for you! Anyone can master a flaky pie crust! The two most important factors when making pie dough: Temperature Speed First, the temperature of the ingredients, especially the butter, as well as ambient temperature of the kitchen is important. For the best flaky pie dough, use COLD ingredients and work in a COOL environment. Second, work quickly! Overworking, over-kneading, and over-rolling stresses out the dough. All this agitation will result in gluten development- creating a rubbery or tough dough. Plus, the quicker you work, the less likely the butter will melt. Classic Butter Pie Dough Recipe This is a simple, no frills kind of pie dough. It uses kitchen staple ingredients. This dough is quite forgiving and easy to work with. It can be used for lattice topping, stamp cutter designers, or simple crimped edges. Use this pie dough for a variety of pie recipes including: salted caramel apple pie, blueberry pie, classic strawberry pie, or persimmon cranberry pie. Butter Dough Ingredients I can’t stress this enough: use cold ingredients! That means keeping your flour mixture chilling in the fridge or keeping the butter in the freezer. All-Purpose Flour : any brand of all-purpose flour works. I highly recommend using King Arthur Baking Company flours. Sugar : this isn’t usually found in pie doughs. The addition of sugar adds flavor through caramelization during baking. Salt : use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for best results. Reduce amount by half if you choose to use table salt or other salt. Egg Yolks : yolks add fat and flavor, while also serving as emulsifier. It makes the dough more flexible and easier to handle. Unsalted Butter : this key ingredient is the star of the dough. The little pockets of butter chunks throughout the dough gives the crust a flaky texture. Ice Water : along with the yolks, the cold water helps to bind all the ingredients together. Err on the side of less liquid. Use just enough water for the dough to stick together. If you live in a humid environment, it may mean using less water than stated in the recipe. Butter vs Shortening Dough Pie dough made with shortening is easier to work with. However, nothing beats the flavors of an all butter pie crust! All butter pie dough is great for sweet and strong flavored fillings. I prefer to reserve the shortening pie doughs for savory dishes or delicate flavored fillings. Pie Dough Tools If your hands run cool, go ahead and cut the butter with your fingers. My hands run hot. As such, I prefer to use a tool to cut the butter. A pastry blender (also called a pastry cutter) is my dough tool of choice. This nifty kitchen tool allows you to cut butter (or shortening or lard) into flour quickly and easily without warming up the ingredients. Use a pastry blender for making chocolate chip scones, cheddar biscuits, or blitz pastry. How to Make Pie Dough by Hand Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter to flour mixture. Use a pastry blender (or two forks or your fingers) to cut butter into flour mixture. Mixture should look like coarse, pebbled sand. Add egg yolks and ice water. Mix together using spatula until mixture looks like a “shaggy mess” or scrambled eggs. Dump onto a clean work surface, or work inside the mixing bowl. Knead mixture together to form a cohesive dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough. The dough will NOT be smooth. How to Use a Pastry Blender Grip the handle with your dominant hand. Press the tines of the pastry blender into the butter and through the flour mixture. The pastry blender is rounded at the bottom to allow you to use the tool inside the mixing bowl. As you work, chunks of butter and flour are bound to get stuck in the tines. That’s totally normal! Use a spatula or fork to pick off the butter or flour. Or, just keep working. Eventually, the clumps will fall off and be incorporated with the rest of the ingredients. Cutting the butter into the flour using a pastry blender takes less than a minute. Two minutes MAX. If you are taking more time, STOP, and move on to the next step. Using Two Forks or Fingers If you don’t like using a pastry blender, or don’t want another kitchen gadget, simply use two forks! Press the tines of the fork into the butter and through the flour. To get a better understanding of the motion: pretend you are mashing bananas with the fork. Repeat until the process until the mixture is crumbly with texture like a pebbled, coarse sand. Kneading Together Pie Dough Stop stirring with a spatula, when the dough looks like a “shaggy mess” or scrambled eggs It’s time to GENTLY and QUICKLY knead the dough. You can knead inside the mixing bowl, or turn the contents onto a clean work surface. Gently push and gather all ingredients together. The pressure and warmth of your hands should be enough to force the dough pieces to stick together. Fold the dough onto itself three to four times to form a layered cohesive mass. Stop touching the dough as soon it as comes together! This process shouldn’t take longer than TWO minutes. Remember: Do not overwork the dough. Overworking the dough develops too much gluten, thus toughening the dough. Overworked dough is hard to roll out. It will pull back when stretched or rolled out. How to Make Food Processor Pie Dough Add flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter in food processor. (7-cup capacity works best for a double crust pie recipe). Pulse ingredients together. I quickly hit the pulse button 30 times until mixture looks like coarse, pebbled sand. Add in egg yolks and ice water. Pulse ingredients together. Press “pulse” 15-20 times until mixture is chunky and crumbly. Dump “shaggy mess” dough onto a clean work surface. Press dough together to one cohesive mass. Knead dough together by hand. Folding dough on top of each to create layers. You should be able to see the streaks of butter in the dough. Fold just until dough comes together. It will not be smooth! Shape into a rectangle. Divide into two equal parts and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Food Processor Important Notes Use a 7-cup capacity (or larger) food processor for a double crust pie dough. I use a version of this Cuisinart food processor. Cuisinart food processor have two settings: ON and PULSE. KitchenAid ones have more settings: low speed, high speed, and pulse. Use the PULSE setting! Press the pulse button in short quick taps. DO NOT use the “on” or “low speed” setting. Allowing the processor to run continuously will create a smooth dough, devoid of any pockets of fat. Chunks and pockets of fat are very important to create a flaky pie crust. Freezing Pie Dough Tightly wrap pie dough disk in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Then, place inside a zip-top bag or other freezer safe container. Keep in the freezer for up to a month. Ideally, you should use the dough within a month. Thaw dough in the fridge overnight before using. Pie Recipes to Try Filipino Egg Pie (custard pie) Triple Berry Pie Brown Butter Pecan Pie Classic Double Crust Pie Dough 5 from 1 vote Learn how to make flakey pie dough using two different techniques. Choose the method that works best for you! Yield: This recipe makes enough for one double crust pie or two single crust pies. Prep Time: 5 minutes minutesResting Time: 30 minutes minutesTotal Time: 35 minutes minutes Servings: 10 Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe Ingredients▢ 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (300 g)▢ ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 g)▢ 1 teaspoon kosher salt*▢ 1 cup unsalted butter* (227 g ), cut into tablespoons, very cold▢ 2 large egg yolks , cold▢ 5 Tablespoons ice water* Instructions By Hand:In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in cold butter. Use a pastry blender (or two forks) to cut butter into flour mixture. Continue until mixture looks like coarse, pebbled sand.Add egg yolks and ice water. Mix together with a spatula until mixture looks like a "shaggy mess" or scrambled eggs.Dump onto a clean work surface (or work inside the large mixing bowl). Gently and quickly knead mixture together to form a cohesive dough. Knead JUST UNTIL the dough comes together.Divide dough into two equal parts. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, store in the fridge for up to 2 days.By Food Processor:Pulse together flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add cold butter one tablespoon at a time with the food processor running. Stop the machine once mixture is crumbly and like coarse sand in texture.Add yolks and water. Pulse for a few seconds until dough begins to come together. Remove shaggy dough from food processor bowl. Dump onto lightly floured surface and finish kneading together by hand.Divide dough into two equal parts. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Notes Pie dough recipe makes enough for two pies or 1 double crust pie. Double crust means pie with a bottom and top. Pie dough can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. *For longer storage, first rest in the fridge to relax the dough. Then, transfer to the freezer for one month. Defrost in the fridge overnight and use immediately. Ingredients: This recipe was created using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. Do not use table salt. Morton Kosher Salt is considered table salt. It is much saltier than Diamond Crystal. It’s a good idea to to keep sliced butter chilling in the freezer while you gather ingredients together. During hot weather, chill all the ingredients before using. Err on the side of less liquid. Use just enough water for the dough to stick together. If you live in a humid environment, it may mean using less water than stated in the recipe. NutritionCalories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg Author: Maryanne Cabrera Course: DessertCuisine: American Did you make this recipe?Show us on Instagram! 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