Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Helpful Hints Making Pie Dough


Making Pie Dough          

It's almost as easy to make pie dough by hand than as it is with a food processor. The most important things to remember with both methods are keeping the ingredients cold, and not overworking the dough.

Pie dough consists of fat, flour, water, and salt. Shortening yields the flakiest crust, but not necessarily the tastiest. Butter, which is used in most classic pastry, gives a richer flavor, but the crust is less tender. A mixture of the two will yield a good balance.

To begin making the dough, cut the cold fat into walnut-sized chunks and add them to a bowl containing the sifted the flour.

Using your hands, rub the fat chunks with the flour in order to break the chunks into smaller pieces. Don't rub too hard or too long; you don't want the fat to soften. When the particles are the size of hazelnuts, add the already combined salt and cold water to the bowl and mix until the liquid is just incorporated.

For the food processor, place the flour in the work bowl fitted with the steel blade. Pulse flour to sift then place pieces of cold fat on top. Pulse just to cut fat into flour, so the pieces are reduced to the size of large peas.

With the machine on, pour water through feeder tube and allow dough to form into a ball. Wrap the dough and refrigerate until firm. Pies with liquid fillings often have soggy crust if flaky dough is used. Working the fat and flour until it is the size of coarse cornmeal will yield a mealy dough more resistant to liquid.

Remember, the secret to good pie dough is right in your hands.

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