Pie

When a Recipe Says "Shaggy" Dough, Aim For This

July 19, 2017

When a recipe instructs you to mix ingredients into a "shaggy dough," what does that look like? I don't know about you, but "shaggy" is not a stage I feel wildly confident identifying.

Thank the heavens, then, for Stella Parks, Pastry Wizard at Serious Eats (really, that is her job title!) and author of the highly-anticipated forthcoming book, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts. She took this direction—one that I assume many bakers puzzle over—and clarified it in one simple photo:

Above, her version of a shaggy dough. It's lumpy yet well-mixed (no dry spots of flour); it's a cohesive ball but not a smooth one; it sort of looks like the inside of a soft pillow.

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Next time you need to make a shaggy dough—for hot water crust, pita, shortcakes, pie!—you can use this photo (and also your hands and eyes!) as a reference.

Our summer desserts thank you, Stella.

What baking or cooking directions could benefit from reference photos? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • NotAltonBrown
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Sarah Jampel

Written by: Sarah Jampel

A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.

2 Comments

NotAltonBrown July 20, 2017
Literally made Stella's pie crust just last night. Hands down, best pie dough recipe I've found so far.
 
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Sarah J. July 20, 2017
That seems to be the consensus!