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Basic Pie Dough

Make your own pie dough and pass on the store-bought stuff with this foolproof recipe. The milk adds a little more fat and makes rolling out the dough much simpler. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • Yield: Makes 1 double-crusted 9- or 10-inch pie
Basic Pie Dough

Source: Mad Hungry, September 2010


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup cold milk or water


  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut in or pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (To "cut in" means to mix cold fat such as butter with dry ingredients to form small pieces.) Pour in the milk. Combine just until the dough holds together in a ball.

  2. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and lift the sides toward the middle to press them together. Cut the dough in half. Form each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated in advance, remove 15 minutes before using.

Reviews (6)

  • dish225 17 Aug, 2013

    I love this dough, I also use it to make cinnamon twist an other treats people love them. But the best is the apple pie.
    Thanks Martha I cook so much better.

  • lesli 29 Jun, 2011

    So good and so dependable! I have used it numerous times with great success. The milk increases the flexibility of the dough and adds to the flavor. Try it! You will be surprised at how easy and reliable it is!

  • bakingcrazy 7 Feb, 2011

    I had to use salted butter, adj down the added salt and couldn't add but 1/4 c milk or dough would have been too wet to handle. Rolled out nicely.

  • bakingcrazy 7 Feb, 2011

    I have always used lard

  • carolbart 11 Jan, 2011

    After watching the video I understand why the milk. Years ago my mom asked the owner of a local cafe how to make his pie dough, he said his secret was milk.

  • lesli 26 Nov, 2010

    This makes a wonderful and nearly indestructable dough. I have used these proportions to make pie crust for many years and it has never failed. No frills, just good pie. It really is best to keep it simple!

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