Recipe: Basic Pie Dough (Pate Brisée)

basic pie dough

For a little more of the science and background of basic pie dough, take a minute to look over Pastry 101: Pie Dough vs. Sweet Dough. Ideally when baking, ingredients should be measured by weight with a small kitchen scale for the greatest accuracy. However, I have converted measurements to standard volumes as closely as possible and have included several photos to help give an idea of how your dough should look and feel throughout. Happy baking!

Yields two 10″ crusts


  • 12 oz all purpose flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 8 oz butter, cold, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 oz water, very cold
  • 1 tsp salt


pinched butter disks

  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and toss in the cold butter pieces.
  2. Working quickly to keep butter cool and firm, pinch each piece of butter into nickel to dime sized disks.
  3. Add in half to 3/4 of the cold water and gently toss through the mixture. Our goal is a “broken dough” that will stick together when squeezed firmly. If dough is still crumbly and does not come together when squeezed, add additional cold water as needed and gently mix as little as possible. When most of the dough sticks together when squeezed, it’s ready.

    holds together when squeezed

  4. Line your work surface with a sheet of plastic wrap and turn your dough onto the wrap. Minimizing handling, press or smear dough into a rectangle and wrap tightly. Avoid kneading the dough as this will allow gluten production and toughness.
  5. Dough should now be refrigerated for at least one hour and up to a few days. Water in the dough will continue to bring your dough together as it rests; it also allows the gluten present to relax. Dough can also be wrapped in foil and placed in a freezer bag and frozen for a few months.
  6. When ready to use, roll out dough into approximately 1/4″ thickness and shape as desired. Chill briefly. Poke small holes in the crust bottom to prevent excess rising.
  7. Crust can be covered in foil (dull side up) and lined with dry beans or weights and blind baked in a 425F oven for a non-baked filling. It can also be filled and baked according to recipe. Crust is ready when bottom is set and sides have a light golden color. If sides are cooking more quickly than the bottom, the oven temp can be lowered.

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