Blitz Dough (enough for two double crusted pies)

This is my go-to dough whenever I want flaky flaky flaky. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, but I always make it in big batches so I can stash some in the freezer to pull out on a lazy day.

Even though there are a few steps, none of them are difficult.

16 ounces flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sugar
16 ounces cold butter, cubed
10 ounces cold water (possibly more or less)

Extra flour for rolling

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Add in the cubed butter and use your fingers to break up the stuck-together pieces. Smash the butter cubes between your fingers to create flaky bits of butter. You don’t need to make them small, or crazy thin, or mush them into the flour. All you have to do is make sure you’ve flattened all the butter cubes.

Now, add in the water a little at a time and use a fork (or your fingers) to gently stir, until a loose ball of dough forms. You may not need all of the water, or you may need a touch more. Just use enough until it comes together in a shaggy ball. Knead it very lightly, just once or twice until it all holds together, more or less.

This dough should be pretty shaggy, not smooth, and generally messy looking.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a roughly rectangular shape, about an inch thick. Now fold it into thirds, the way you’d fold a business letter. Wrap this chunk of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, take the dough out and roll it into another rectangle, but this time about a 1/2” thick. Fold it into thirds again, then fold that third in half. Pat it out with the pin or with your hands until it’s about 2” thick; refrigerate another 15 minutes.

Roll it out one more time, fold into thirds, wrap and refrigerate for another 15 minutes. Or as long as you like, even so long as two days.

If you’re ready to roll it out, dust the counter lightly with flour and set the block of dough out, dusting it with flour too. Roll in all directions, using good “follow through” so the dough does not become too thick around the edges. Check the dough very regularly to make sure it’s not sticking, lift and dust with flour underneath periodically.

This dough is perfect for fruit pies or turnovers or a savory tart.


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Any questions?

Jan 22, 2012 ·  9:17 AM

I like this one…something like a rough puff pastry! Must get some into the freezer soon!

 · vindee ·

Jan 22, 2012 ·  1:56 PM

@vindee, exactly! It gives a lot of that layered flakiness, but with a fraction of the work. Barely any more work than normal pie dough, but vastly better so far as I’m concerned. So handy to have in the freezer!!


Jul 18, 2012 ·  9:23 AM

Can I replace the tsp of kosher salt w 1/2 a tsp of table salt?

 · O · 

Jul 18, 2012 ·  9:49 AM

O, that sounds about right. Happy baking!


Aug 20, 2012 ·  7:54 PM

Hi Stella
There are varying ratios for pie pastry on the net, from 1:2 to about 1:1 (butter to flour). How do you think a “regular” shortcrust pastry compares to yours, do you ever use it?

 · ceca · 

Aug 21, 2012 ·  5:25 PM

Gosh, Ceca, I don’t know that I could say, since “regular” varies so much from place to place. Compared to a “flaky” pie crust, this is even flakier, but also more tender. Does that give you anything to go on?


Oct 15, 2012 · 11:12 PM

Wow – I’ve been searching for a reliable puff pastry (and wasted a helluva lot of butter in pursuit thereof). Made this one tonight – perfect! Am delighted with the results.

 · Cmdr Banana · 

Oct 16, 2012 ·  7:55 PM

Hi Cmdr Banana! So happy this one suited you. It’s not a full fledged puff pastry of course, but it splits the difference between a flaky pie dough and a proper pastry so nicely that I love it better than both. Glad you enjoyed it too!


Feb 23, 2013 · 11:57 PM

Hi! Can we just divide the dough into 2 before rolling if we want to save 1/2 of it? Also, does this make two double layer pie dough or 2 pies? Sorry for my stupid question, I’m new to making pie doughs.

 · Ela · 

Feb 24, 2013 ·  1:11 AM

Hi Ela! Absolutely, no need to roll it all out at once. It makes enough for two double layered pies, or 4 single pies. Let me know if you have any trouble along the way. Happy baking!


May 20, 2013 ·  1:40 PM

Any suggestions for adding mashed sweet potato to this dough without changing the consistency?

 · Rebel Shell ·

May 22, 2013 ·  5:36 PM

HI Rebel Shell. Your best bet would be to dry and pulverize some slices of sweet potato, I think. That would get a more concentrated form of flavor into the dough, as much of a sweet potato’s bulk is just water. I haven’t tried such a thing, but that’s where I’d start.


May 24, 2013 · 12:33 PM

This was so totally amazing. I used to use Trader Joe’s puff pastry because it was the only one I could find that was all-butter. This is so much better, the middle doesn’t get soggy on the bottom. Thank you for sharing!

 · Sarvi · 

May 27, 2013 ·  9:38 PM

Hey Sarvi! Omg, I’m so happy to hear it turned out for you, congratulations! I know blitz dough is a bit fussy, so I’m glad it worked out. Yippee!


Jun 19, 2013 ·  9:40 PM

I tried making this with whole wheat flower. It was all I had. Probably a bad idea, huh?

 · Sam · 

Jun 20, 2013 ·  9:41 AM

Hi Sam! I imagine it turned out… differently, huh? Whole wheat flour absorbs a very different amount of water (usually more) and it can take more work to develop a nice elasticity in the dough, so I imagine the dough was pretty fussy for you. That being said, you definitely can make a nice pastry dough out of whole wheat flour, you just have to babysit it a little more. How’d it turn out?


Oct 04, 2013 ·  4:25 PM

Stella, how long can I freeze this for? Do you wrap it any particular way? Any specific instructions for thawing outside of well…thawing?

 · Brittany  · 

Oct 06, 2013 · 11:27 AM

Hi Brittany! I just wrap a chunk in plastic wrap, then nestle it into a zip top freezer bag for double protection. It’ll keep about 6 months. Honestly, probably longer but I’ve never had the patience to test it further. The best way to thaw is to leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s a little trickier to do it at room temperature, because the outside layers can get super soft while the interior is still frozen…


Oct 14, 2013 ·  6:23 PM

awesome! Thanks! Is this the same with the milk and honey brioche bread as well?

 · Brittany  · 

Dec 07, 2016 · 11:13 PM

Hi Stella,
I have been searching for a pastry substitute for my gluten free family for a number of years. Do you think that this would work with a rice/amaranth mixture? I have found that amaranth makes a nice pie crust without being so “obviously gluten free”. What are your thoughts?

By the way—I appreciate all of your gluten free labeled recipes. I finally mastered macarons tonight after weeks of trying, for which your blog was the perfect starting point! On to pastry!

 · Jacqueline · 

Feb 27, 2017 ·  9:33 PM

This was beautiful pastry to make as well as to roll out and bake. Thank you again for yet another terrific recipe.

 · HildaW · 

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 · Augusto de Arruda Botelho ·

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 · ·

Aug 27, 2017 ·  9:52 AM

For health reasons I cannot have dairy, gluten, chickpeas, lentils. I am most frustrated by pie crust recipes calling for butter. I accept that I can’t have the wonderful flavor of butter but flakiness seems elusive. EarthBalance doesn’t stay cold enough to yield ‘flakes’. Any suggestions? Lard?

 · arbit · 

Nov 06, 2017 · 12:06 PM

Hi Stella! Is it safe to give this dough a couple more 3-fold turns to get more layers? Thanks

 · didove · 


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