This butter-based pastry dough is a recipe that’s popular in France. Use it to make both sweet and savory pies and tarts.
Cooks note: Quick and cold… The secret to flaky pastry is to handle it as little as possible. When mixing the wet ingredients into the dry, stop once it sticks together to form the cohesive dough. Run your hands under cold water for a few minutes and pat dry before handling the dough. This prevents the dough from melting together and being “processed” by your body heat.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (cold)
- 1/3 cup water (cold)
In a small bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, large-tined fork, or a food processor on pulse setting, cut the chilled butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand with a few pea-sized pieces of butter still visible.
Sprinkle the water evenly over the mixture and toss gently a few times, just until it forms a ball that holds together.
Separate the dough into two balls, flatten slightly into thick disk shapes, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for several hours before working with it.
For fast preparation: Put the dough in the freezer for 40 to 50 minutes before working with it.