basic pie dough

All Butter Pie Dough

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti


Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart


  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • 2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼½ cup (60 mL –125 mL)  ice water, plus more if needed


  1. Cut the butter into cubes, place them in a bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until it’s needed. Fill a measuring cup with ¼ cup water and and ice. Set aside.
  2. Put the flour and salt into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the chilled, cubed butter to the flour mixture.
  4. Pulse the butter and flour mixture several times until the butter is the size of large peas.
  5. With the machine running, pour the ice water (take out the ice cubes) through the feed tube in a slow, thin stream until the dough just holds together without being too sticky or wet (you may not use all ¼ cup of water).
  6. The dough is ready to shape when you can pinch off a portion and it holds together when you press it with your finger tips.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and work it into a smooth ball (do not knead). You may need to add very small amounts of ice water to bring together drier portions of dough.
  8. Use a bench scraper or a sharp knife to divide the ball of dough evenly in half.
  9. Shape each half of dough into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours (preferably overnight) to allow the dough to rest. Resting the dough relaxes the gluten in the flour and makes the dough easier to roll out. It’s a very important step, so don’t skip it.
  10. Take the dough out of the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before you are ready to roll it out to allow it to become pliable enough for rolling. Flour the board and the dough lightly.
  11. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough from the center out, turning it a quarter turn after each roll. Flour the board lightly as you go to prevent it from sticking to the board and rolling pin. If the dough is too hard to roll, let it sit at room temperature a few minutes. If it becomes too soft and sticky, fold it in thirds like a letter, place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate it for a few minutes. Re-roll the dough once it’s chilled enough but still pliable.
  12. Once the dough is ready to place into the pie plate, gently roll it onto the rolling pin, set it over the pie plate and unroll it.
  13. Carefully lift the outer edges of the overhanging dough to allow the dough to drop into the bottom of the pie plate. Do not press the dough into the pie plate.
  14. Fill the bottom crust with your desired filling per your recipe’s instructions. Note: some recipes will instruct you to “blind bake” the bottom crust before proceeding with the recipe. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to blind bake a pie crust.
  15. For double-crust pies, roll out the second disk of dough and transfer it over the filling. Trim and crimp the edges. Watch this video tutorial to learn crimping techniques.
  16. Cut slits to vent the pie as it bakes, brush the top of the crust with heavy cream or an egg wash (depending on what the recipe instructs) and sprinkle with sugar (for sweet pies).
  17. Bake the pie according to the instructions of the recipe you are using. I recommend putting the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices that may overflow out of the pie as it bakes.


  • Pie dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and sealed in a plastic freezer bag.