Short Crust Pastry Dough

This dough makes a wonderfully light and flaky crust which is great for pies, tarts,  and cobblers. If is perfect for recipes that can be sweet or savory. 

When I first started baking my very first original creation was a peach cobbler. This was the basis of the crust I made for it. Since then it has been a tried and true workhorse for me and all of my baking adventures. 

In this recipe

This is the simplest recipe I can think of for a great crust only using 5 ingredients flour, butter, salt, sugar, and water. However if you are making a savory pastry remove the sugar from the mixture.

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The key for this dough to is keep everything cold. You want to use ice water and your butter should be as cold as you can get it and still use a pastry blender or food processor. 

Keeping the butter from melting will give the nice flake you will be expecting at the end.  This happens when the dough is cooked as the water in the butter turns to steam. It creates these cool little air pockets and that gives you the perfect texture. 

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The consistency of he dough should be like gritty sand with some pieces of butter the size of small pebbles. 

When you add the water you will want to do it a tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds itself together without creating any crumbs.

Refrigerating the dough will give time for the dough to frim up as well as allow the gluten inside to relax. This helps keep the pastry from becoming too tough and chewy.

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Short Crust Pastry Dough

A great savory all purpose dough used in many of my recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Servings 1 10 inch pastry shell
Calories 1944 kcal


  • Pastry blender
  • Large bowl
  • Spatula


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • stick butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon size pieces and add to the flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry blender to cut the butter into small pieces. There will be varying sizes, but they should be the size of small pebbles. You can also use your finger to smash and rub the butter for the same effect.
  • Add the water a tablespoon at a time to keep the dough from getting to wet, and mix with a spatula or your hands quickly. The dough should just hold itself together. Place in the refrigerator for 30 min to rest.
  • This can now be used for any savory recipes that call for a crust.


Serving: 19 in crustCalories: 1944kcalCarbohydrates: 155gProtein: 21gFat: 139gSaturated Fat: 87gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 36gTrans Fat: 6gCholesterol: 364mgSodium: 2381mgPotassium: 242mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 4236IUCalcium: 72mgIron: 9mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Butter, Dough, Flaky, Flour, Salt, Water
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