Basic Pastry Dough
Don’t handle this pastry dough any more than necessary, or it will be tough; treat it firmly, not timidly, but don’t fuss with it.
The flour and shortening should not be blended too well; it is the bits of shortening left in the dough that puff and expand during baking and give the pastry its flaky texture. For that reason, the dough cannot be mixed as successfully in a food processor.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Five Ingredients or LessYes
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives.
Mix lightly only until the mixture resembles coarse meal and some of the shortening remains the size of very tiny peas; the texture will not be uniform but will contain crumbs and small bits and pieces.
Sprinkle the water over the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time and mix lightly with a fork, using only enough water so the dough will hold together. Press the dough together into a ball.
If there are dry places that don’t adhere, sprinkle a little more water over them.
2003 Marion Cunningham