Flaky Pastry Dough

I mean look at those layers! This flaky pastry dough can be used for so many recipes. I've recently used it for hand pies, empanadas and so many more savory and sweet recipes. 

Total Time
1 hour
Simple Tasty Recipes


  1. Freeze the butter, in cubes, for 15 minutes until it is very cold but not solid.  

  2. Hand method: Combine flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl and cut the butter into smaller pieces with a knife or pastry cutter. Pinch and press the butter and flour mixture to help flatten the pieces of butter. (This will help you build butter layers and result in a flakier dough.) Add about half the ice water to the flour mixture with a fork. Add more water, a little at a time, you might need more or less than 1/4 cup ice water. When no more loose flour is left in the bowl and your mixture just sticks together, you are done. 

  3. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Using the heel of your hand, press the dough to flatten against the counter, pushing away from you slightly to smear the pieces of butter into the flour. Fold the dough on top of itself, and continue pressing and smearing. Use a bench scraper to fold, if you need it. Repeat 5 or 6 more times of pressing, smearing, and folding, until the dough no longer feels shaggy and is smooth but not sticky. When the dough is soft, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. At this point, you can freeze the dough and store it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.

  4. I used this pastry dough to make 8 savory hand pies. However, this is a very versatile recipe and would be excellent for a pie or tart crust. For my pies, I shaped them and baked at 375ºF for 1 hour, until they were golden brown.  

Ingredients for 8 hand pies | 1 tart

  • 4 ounces
    Unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces by weight)
    Unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp
    Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup
    Ice water

Total Time

  • Preparation Time
    30 minutes
  • Cooking Time
    30 minutes (chilling time)

Suggested Equipment


Adapted from Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables by Joshua McFadden.

Additional Images