Perfect All-Butter Pie Dough
Sweet, sweet friends, hi! I’ve got such a treat for you today: Perfect All-Butter Pie Dough. For years I’ve been scouring both the internet and cookbooks for the perfect pie dough recipe. A few years ago, I found Yossi Arefi‘s recipe and I – mistakenly – thought my search was over. In truth, Yossi’s is a solid recipe that saw me through many a wonderful pie. However, now that I’ve truly come across the recipe for perfect pie dough, it simply pales in comparison.
Have I got your undivided attention?
Unlike any other pie dough recipe I’ve seen before, this one uses strong white flour. It’s a little unusual, but it’s due to the high proportion of butter in the dough. Most dough recipes have between 220-260 grams of butter in them – this one has 350 grams. Don’t be alarmed. We need to use strong white flour because we need the dough to have a sturdy enough structure to trap the steam from the excess butter. The butter steam, entirely trapped by our luscious dough, pushes the dough upwards and creates those flaky layers we all love so much.
the cardinal rules of making pie dough:
keep everything cold cold cold
This is perhaps the most important rule when it comes to making pie dough. The vast temperature change when the cold butter hits the hot oven makes the water in the butter evaporate quickly, creating layer upon layer of flakes. Chill your butter, chill your water, heck – I even chill my rolling pin. Literally every little helps. To alleviate the issue of working the dough with warm hands, this pie dough comes together in the stand mixer. A dream!
The dough needs to be worked as little as possible. Once it comes out of the stand-mixer, a little shaggy & not-yet fully combined, it gets dumped on the countertop. We bring it together with our hands as quickly as possible, and then we do a single fold. No need for perfection, just speed & confidence. Divide in two, wrap tightly, and rest in the fridge for at least 2-hours, allowing the gluten to relax.
a soggy bottom secret
The dreaded soggy bottom. I came across this tip recently to safeguard against a soggy bottom and it’s so obvious I don’t know how I’ve never seen it before. Before placing your filling inside your rolled out pie base, sprinkle a mixture of 1-part cornflour with 3-parts sugar over the base. For example: for a 9-inch pie, I’d use 1/4 teaspoon cornflour mixed with 3/4 teaspoon of sugar. Works a charm!
Another wonderful fact about this perfect all-butter pie dough: it is truly a dream to roll out. No dryness, cracking or tearing, just lusciously smooth and stretchy dough. I like to roll my dough out to about a 1/4-inch thickness, just thick enough for the baked pie to support its own weight. Any fancy lattice work is totally optional, but totally enjoyable also.
Perfect All-Butter Pie Dough
- 350 g salted butter, cubed into 1-cm pieces & chilled in the fridge for at least 20-minutes before use
- 450 g strong white flour
- 25 g caster sugar
- 140 ml ice cold water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour & the sugar.
- With the mixer on slow, add in the chunks of butter. Beat together until the butter breaks down. The mix should resemble breadcrumbs mostly, but with some larger pea size pieces of butter.
- Pour the ice cold water into the bowl & mix together quickly until it just starts to form a dough, but there are some unincorporated bits in the bottom of the bowl.
- Handling the dough as little as possible, tip the contents out onto a lightly floured surface & bring everything together on the bench, very lightly kneading it.
- Shape the dough into a large rectangle & use a rolling pin to roll it out to double it's size.
- Perform a single fold in the dough by folding the top third down into the middle, then the bottom third up over the first, as you would a letter.
- Using a sharp knife, gently cut the dough in two. Lightly shape each piece into a disk shape, wrap both tightly in cling film, and rest in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Bake according to recipe instructions.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!