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I've been making my pie dough in my food processor lately. It's a recipe I've had forever and it always works when done by hand. In the processor, it turns out sticky and difficult to work with. What am I doing wrong?

asked by Rhonda35 over 6 years ago
11 answers 3808 views
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Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

Is it possible that your butter is too warm?

Ddd52943 cdf0 4edb a2d4 73aa286607f0  399571 2853636453848 1694221275 n
added over 6 years ago

I think you may also have added too much water.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added over 6 years ago

Add a dusting of flour and work it by hand as little as possible. Pie Dough comes together so easy by hand. If you need to use the processor just use it for cutting in the fat and bring it together by hand with the water. Good luck.

C7510721 e177 481e 8125 7c4d04f5c4e8  canposter
added over 6 years ago

I'm anti processor for dough. The amount of time saved doing it in the machine doesn't seem to pay off. Maybe it's just me, but I find it quicker to do it by hand than drag the processor out.

I do think the dough gets overworked in the processor, which leads it to get sticky and tough. I'm a huge fan of pastry cutters and Granny Forks for these types of tasks.

Ddd52943 cdf0 4edb a2d4 73aa286607f0  399571 2853636453848 1694221275 n
added over 6 years ago

I think this may be the video where A & M make the crust using a processor.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 6 years ago

Better to be sticky than too dry. Incorporate a bit of flour when you are gathering it into a ball with your hands. When I was making dough recently for the pie theme, I tested both the processor and the kiitchenaid stand mixer. I felt the processor heats up more, which led to a softer dough. The heat from the motor may contribute to some of the stickiness you experienced. Make sure you are pulsing the processor, don't keep it continuously running. I agree with everyone's answers. Butter needs to be ice cold. And forks are great for mixing in liquids to pastry dough.

79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

What you are doing wrong is using a food processor, far from the best device for making dough. A stand mixer is way better; begin with the paddle, switch to the hook and then finish by hand. It's good for other things but not pastry.

Bc343245 99fb 4d2b 8579 9bf9c485181e  me
added over 6 years ago

I'm guessing either your ingredients aren't cold enough or you're over-processing, or both. What's your ratio of fat to dry ingredients? I confess I often use a processor when making dough. I chill the processor bowl and blade and sliced butter in the freezer for 30 minutes. If the fat ratio is high, then I put the dry ingredients in the freezer too. I also always pulse - it comes together a LOT faster than one would think. I stop when it holds together when I pinch it. Then I wrap it in wax paper, mold quickly into a disc, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.

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added over 6 years ago

Thank you for all the suggestions and answers to my question. I think I must be over-processing and adding too much liquid. I have to agree with Christina - I'm starting to believe that it just isn't worth using the processor - doesn't really save any time and there sure is a lot of clean up - add to that the fact that it hasn't been turning out very well...think I will go back to making it by hand.

2fc558a8 bd7d 4d57 9ed4 e14a7fcea429  fb avatar
added over 6 years ago

I love using my processor for pasty, but I use it only for cutting in the butter, which it does exceptionally well. Then I dump the flour/butter bits into a bowl and add the liquid, folding it in with a rubber spatula. I find it's way too easy to overprocess the other way. This method gives me greater control.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Cooks Illustrated makes a pie crust with vodka in a food processor that has always worked for me. The trick is to add the flour in stages, some with the butter that you process to cornmeal consistency and then you add the rest of the flour blend for a moment and add the liquids by hand. Google "vodka pie crust" for a recipe. The tecnique works when making pastry by hand too.

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