How do you know when you have added enough ice cold water to a pit crust dough?

What texture are you looking for? How dry or wet should the pie crust dough be? I'm making a simple recipe with just flour, butter, water and kosher salt.

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6 Comments

Nina L. January 9, 2012
The amount of water to hold the dough together depends on the humidity in the air. A moist humid say requires less water than a dry cold day. That has been my experience.

Also, I have experimented with using a mixer, a processor and a pastry cutter. I get the best results using the pastry cutter. A little elbow grease required, but the dough bakes up very flaky.
 
Carebearcp January 9, 2012
i have experimented with this a little and found that just when the dry ingredients start to clump together is what works best.... i don't use a food processor and it works just fine as long as the ingredients will stay together, but i have definitely had to add more water than the recipe says so just feel it out :)... also after the dough has been refrigerated (which most recipes call for) it will be a lot easier to work with
 
lapadia January 9, 2012
Hi Cara Smith!
Thought I would sent you a link to the crust I have here on Food52 as well as on my website…my website has photos in different stages that could help AND using a couple tablespoons of vodka wouldn’t hurt, although my recipe is not written that way:
http://lapadia.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/pie-crust/
 
ChefJune January 9, 2012
I agree. I also add the water in the food processor, stopping just before the mixture forms a ball.
 

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Sam1148 January 8, 2012
I'm a convert of the Vodka pie crust. http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/pie-crust-101/

One of the reasons is that vodka can be chilled below freezing point, so the butter still makes nice flakes when worked.
Another reason is that vodka doesn't create gluten (well, not much as water) when working.
I also think a food processor is superior to a stand mixer for making the initial 'crumb' of butter and flour before adding the liquid by hand.
 
boulangere January 8, 2012
Perfect, that's all you need. Add ice water while mixing on low speed. Stop when no visible dry ingredients remain in the bottom of the bowl.
 
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