Butter Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies (Pâte Brisée)
This recipe makes 2 pâte brisée crusts, enough for 2 galettes, tarts, or quiches. Using pastry flour, made of soft wheat and with lower gluten content, will yield a more delicate result.
- 3 cups (18 ounces by weight) pastry flour, plus extra for rolling
- 12 ounces unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar (increase to 3 tablespoons for a sweet recipe)
- 8 Tbsp ice water, very cold
- Start by cutting the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and placing them in the freezer for at least 15 minutes so that they become thoroughly chilled.
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and work with your fingertips, pinching the pieces of butter, until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter.
- Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it is ready. If not, add a little more water. The amount of water you will need depends on the type of butter and flour you used, as well as the humidity in the air, so there is art as well as science involved.
- Shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling.