3-2-1 Pie Dough!
The Secret to Pie Dough (and so much more!) is the ratio of flour : fat : water. Beginning to look at your baking endeavors in terms of ratios is a very liberating experience. It’s all to common that when we are confronted with a baking task we look for a recipe. Once a recipe is deemed worthy of it’s instructions, the gathering of all ingredients ensues. The means will certainly lead to an end but we finish the process with not much of an understanding of what just happened. Recipes do little to make us better cooks and don’t really lead to spontaneity. Having a few ratios in your repertoire will allow you to bake with the seasons, take advantage of Farmers Markets and gain an understanding of principals that will lead to creativity!
How It Works
If we begin with the fat on hand in our fridge, 2 sticks of butter is usually a convenient amount(Spectrum is a great dairy substitute). This will give us 8 ounces fat and that will lead us to 12 ounces of flour and 4 ounces of ice water…the mighty 3-2-1 is in our sites! The ice water is important, as well as cold butter, because the technique of ‘rubbing’ the dough will only lead to success if the fat doesn’t melt. Rubbing is the technique that allows for a flaky crust and is achieved by rubbing together the fat and the four, leaving flakes of fat visible. The rhubarb in Spring, the berries in Summer and the apples of Autumn will soon be dancing in your pie crust!
Pie dough works very well with all-purpose flour so, for this ratio and all other ratios you discover, begin with a GF all-purpose flour that you like. Bob’s Red Mill is a good place to start at the commercial level and Heirloom Kitchen also offers our GF Flour Blend on our Dinner At Your Door Menu.
Whether it’s baking or cooking, the lasting goal is to be more of an active participant in our dietary needs! Learning solid culinary skills will help us take a little more control over our nutritional lives. Baking an occasional pie, working in a trip to the market or most importantly, siting down to enjoy that creation we just made will help to slow our lives down. Combing flours from the field, butter from the dairy and water from the well is an ancient practice that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Chances are you have those 3 ingredients in you kitchen right now…..it’s time to make a pie!