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Basic Pie Dough

Basic Pie Dough

Ingredients.

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 Tbs. very cold water

Directions.

To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pasta cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal and the butter pieces are no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork until the dough pulls together.

To make the dough in a stand mixer, fill the mixer with a flat whisk and whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the mixer. Add the butter and mix with a fork to combine it with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal and the butter pieces are no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed until the dough is pulled together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat it into a ball, and flatten it into a disk. (Although many dough recipes call for chilling the dough at this point, this dough should be rolled out immediately for best results). Dust your work surface with a small amount of flour, then flatten the disk by gently tapping it with a rolling pin 6-8 times. Lift the dough and turn it a quarter turn. Lightly flour the dough or rolling pin, if necessary, and roll out to a circle at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. There is enough dough to make a 9-inch single-crust pie or a 10-inch small pie.

To make a double-crust pie. Double the recipe, cut the dough in half, and pat each half into a round, flat disk. Roll out one disk into a 12-inch circle as directed and line the pan or plate. Press the remnants of the first round of dough into the bottom of the second round. Roll out the second disk into a circle at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick, and refrigerate it until ready to use.

To make a lattice top. Double the recipe, cut the dough in half, and pat one half into a round, flat disk. Roll out the disk into a 12-inch circle as directed and line the pan or plate. Trim the edges of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Press any scraps from the first round of trimming down into the bottom of the remaining half of the dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle and roll it out to a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Trim out a 14 x 11-inch rectangle and refrigerate until ready to use.

Variation of Nutella dough. Add 2 tablespoons toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed.

Make-Ahead Tip. Pie dough can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze, place the dough on a 12-inch cardboard circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Or, use a circle of dough laid out on a pie plate or dish with grooved sides and wrap.

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