Home / Food / Basic Cooking Skills / Old Fashioned Pie Dough Recipe (+ How To Roll Out & Move Pie Crust)

Old Fashioned Pie Dough Recipe (+ How To Roll Out & Move Pie Crust)

Making homemade pie dough from scratch is probably one of the easiest baking skills you can learn, and it will improve the quality of your pies, tarts, quiches, etc. I don’t really understand why people buy pre-made pie crusts, either in mix form, or pre-rolled and frozen in shells, since making this is so easy!

This pie dough recipe literally takes 5-10 minutes to make, and it only goes faster the more you do it and become comfortable with the steps. It would take longer to go to the store,simply to buy a frozen pie shell, then it does to make it from scratch at home. Yes you will have to chill the dough before using it, but the simple work around here is to make the dough before you go to bed the night before you plan on baking. Voilia! The pie dough is ready to use by morning.

a homemade pie dough in a pie pan ready to use

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Homemade pie dough is flakier, richer, and not to mention healthier then the store bought variety since it contains no preservatives. All you will need is flour, sugar, salt, butter (or shortening) and water. Butter will give your homemade pie crust more flavor, and create a nice flaky product.

Please, please, please never use margarine when your baking! You simply will not get the same end result.

This Pie Dough recipe I will walk you through today, makes enough dough to fill one 9″ pie pan. If you want to make a lattice or need a cover for your pie, (such as in this classic apple pie recipe) double the pie crust recipe and you will have more then enough to work with. Any leftovers can be saved and refrigerated for up to a week, (or frozen for up to 3 months), just make sure to thaw it under refrigeration completely before using.

Related:  Old Fashioned Apple Pie (From Scratch)

What Makes A Pie Crust Flaky?

There are two keys to a flaky pie crust.

  • The first is using cold butter, and leaving the butter in pea sized chunk when crumbling it in.
  • The second is not kneading the pie dough to much. The longer you knead the pie dough, the more you will develop the gluten in the flour making it stretchier, and less flaky.

Gluten is what gives dough its stretchy ability. Think of pizza dough, which is very stretchy and is kneaded for about 20 minutes. This results in a soft (and with the addition of yeast of course) fluffy dough. Pie dough though you only want knead so long until you get a smooth ball. This prevents the gluten strands from properly developing. Again this ensures a flaky and crisp crust.

Refrigerating the pie dough after forming for at least 30 minutes allows the butter to harden again. This helps prevent the butter from melting out of your dough when it goes in the oven, and simultaneously prevents the dough from shrinking.

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make Pie Crust?

Any pie dough recipe will only require a few basic ingredients that most folks will already have in their pantry. You’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 cup    All purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp     sugar
  • 1/2 tsp        salt
  • 1/2 cup(1/4 lb)   cold butter or shortening cut into small cubes.
  • 7 Tbsp        ice cold water

Step-By-Step Guide To Making Pie Dough

It is important to note, that the butter really should be cold and not melted or room temperature. The bigger your butter flakes stay in the dough before you add water, the flakier the crust will be. If you mix the butter in until the whole mix is one powdery mixture you will get a tougher and denser crust.

  1. Measure out your flour, sugar, and salt and mix them together in a bowl.a stainless steel bowl filled with flour, sugar, salt, and cubed butter
  2. Add your cold diced butter or shortening to this mix, and using your hands, break the butter up, into little flakes. Make sure to keep coating the butter chunks with the flour so that they break up and don’t stick together. You are aiming for flakes of butter the size of peas(roughly).Flour and butter crumbled up in a stainless steel bowl for pie dough
  3. Mix in the cold water, and mix the pie dough with a spoon or your hands until it just starts to clump into one mass. Then using your hands  knead the dough once or twice to get the pie dough to form a smooth ball.Kneading pie dough
  4. Flatten the pie dough into a disk shape, wrap it in plastic wrap or a beeswax cloth wrap, and refrigerate the dough. Refrigerating, helps re-chill the butter, and firms the dough back up.

How To Roll Out Pie Dough & Move It To A Pie Pan

  1. Once the dough has chilled for a minimum of 30 minutes, flour a clean surface or counter top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pie dough into a large circle, roughly 1/2 cm thick.pie dough being rolled out on a floured blue countertop
  2. Transfer the rolled out pie dough to a greased pie pan. This can be done by rolling the pie dough up on a rolling pin,or by folding it into quarters and then quickly moving it over.
  3. Once the pie dough has been moved to the pie pan, gently press the dough into all the corners of the pan to make sure there are no air pockets anywhere. Crimp the edges with a fork, or your fingers.

Once the edges have been crimped, you can trim off any excess dough with a sharp paring knife. I like to refrigerate the pie crust at this point, to re-chill the butter which has been warmed up through rolling out etc. If you are refrigerating the pie crust over night, make sure to cover it, or wrap it to prevent the crust from drying out.

If you need to blind bake the pie crust for your pie recipe, do so now.

a vertical image of a homemade pie crust on a wooden table


Perfect for use in homemade pies, tarts and other desserts that require a crust, you’ll be glad you took the five minutes to make this recipe. Try it in these mini lemon meringue tarts, or in this German caramelized onion tart.

Tried the recipe? Take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

an overhead view of from scratch pie dough with crimped edges on a wooden table

Old Fashioned Pie Dough Recipe

Markus Mueller
A basic baking skill everyone should have, making homemade pie dough is easy! Simple step-by-step instructions make this a simple task for anyone.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French
Servings 1 x 9 inch pie crust
Calories 1406.7 kcal


  • 1 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Tbsp Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ lb Cold Butter
  • 7 Tbsp Ice cold water


  • Mix the flour with the sugar and the salt.
  • Dice your cold butter, add it to the flour, and using your hand break up the butter until you have small pea sized pieces or flakes.
  • Add your 7 Tbsp ice cold water and stir it in with a wooden spoon or spurdle. Once the dough start to clump together, use your hands to knead it into a ball. Stop kneading as soon as it forms a smooth dough.
  • Flatten the ball and wrap with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.


Calories: 1406.7kcal
Keyword how do you make a flakey pie crust?, how do you make a simple pie crust, how do you make an easy apple pie crust?, pie dough recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
    so glad to have found your recipe – Yes, i just followed you on IG ! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Pie crust is seriously my nemesis right now. It looks so easy! I’ve watched so many YouTube videos and tried so many ‘no fail’ recipes. They all either end up sticking to my counter even if I put flour down, or just crumbling apart. Thanks for making it sound attainable, I’ll give it another go!

    • Cristina, if the dough is sticking to the counter when you go to roll it out, make sure the dough is cold. This will harden the butter and reduce the chances of it sticking. If it still sticks to the counter despite having flour down…put down more flour! The key here is to finely sprinkle it so it is evenly spread out and not in clumps. Its ok if there is a thicker layer of flour down, you are not re-mixing the dough after all, just rolling it out on top of the flour. Also make sure to flour both sides of the dough.. so flour the counter, and the top of the dough that will touch the rolling pin. If it starts to stick to the rolling pin, add a touch more flour to the top side. If the dough just crumbles apart it could be you don’t have enough butter or water in the dough, or you didn’t knead it long enough. When you first mix the dough make sure to only add enough water until all the flour in the bowl starts to stick together in one clump. Then take the clump out of the bowl and knead it on a floured surface until it just barely becomes a smooth ball. I hope this helps! i’d love to see pictures of your end results, and if you have any more questions, just shoot me an e-mail! Markusjhmueller@earthfoodandfire.com

  3. Appreciate the details of this post. Photos are great. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. This is too funny! I am seriously at this very moment just waiting for my ride so I can go to the store where one of the things I plan to buy is a pre-made pie dough! I’m not a very good dough maker and pre-made is just so easy….but you changed my mind! OK, universe (or Markus), I will try again (or at least not give up). I bookmarked this and will definitely let you know how that goes 🙂 Thanks!

    • That’s to funny Jolina! I’m glad you saw this post before you got picked up! Send me a picture of your end result and if you have any questions feel free to contact me through the site or on facebook or twitter!

  5. That is really a beautiful tutorial! We like making our own pie dough, and next time we’ll follow your steps and recipe. Thanks!

  6. A great simple recipe! I like your instructions, very clear and easy to follow. Will definitely try it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I made it with butter. It was delicious!

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