Easy Butter Pastry Dough

If you are looking for a basic, all-butter pastry dough recipe to use for savory and sweet dishes, you have found it. Our recipe makes enough dough for one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies.

All-Butter Pastry Dough

Related: We also love this slightly updated pie crust recipe, which also has a how-to video.

Tips for Pastry Dough Success

When I first started making pastries and pies, it was the crust that worried me. After some time in the kitchen and, I’m not embarrassed to admit, a few failed attempts we are happy to share this easy, basic recipe for pastry dough.

This is an all butter recipe — I like it that way. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t swap some of the butter called for in this recipe with shortening. I suggest replacing about 25% of the butter with shortening.

Using a food processor to make pastry dough

I love making pastry dough and find that using a food processor is best. You can make this by hand using a pastry cutter, but it does take a bit more elbow strength. A food processor will make much quicker work of the whole process. Here are the basic steps for making pastry dough:

  1. Place the butter, food processor bowl and blade into the freezer for about 10 minutes before starting.
  2. Have all your ingredients ready and work quickly, keeping everything as cold as possible.
  3. Chill the water with ice to make sure it is as cold as possible before starting.
  4. If the oven or any burners are on, work as far away from them as possible.
  5. Use the pulse function for the food processor for more control. Don’t just turn it on.

By following our own little fail safes, we’ve had multiple successes over the past month with pastry dough. To be fair though, each time has been a bit different. For example, the last time I made this dough, I used much less water than the time before.

The dough is ready

That’s okay, though. The water will vary depending on the flour used, humidity, etc… Our best advice is to practice. Our recipe is not magic, we all need to trust ourselves a bit and remember keep everything COLD!

Extra Tip: Our recipe below makes enough dough for 1 double crust pie or two single crust pies. The dough will need to chill before you roll it. If you know you will be rolling our two crusts, refrigerate the dough already cut in half. Then pat each half into discs. This makes rolling out later much easier.

Cut the dough in half

Here are a few of our favorite ways to use pastry dough:

  • Handheld Blueberry Pies — These are shown in the photos at the top of this article.
  • Simple Strawberry Pie — A fresh strawberry pie recipe with sweet strawberries coated in a light strawberry glaze then topped with whipped cream.
  • Homemade Blueberry Pie — An easy blueberry pie with blueberries, warm spices, lemon and an easy lattice crust. Blueberries shine in this pie!
  • Mini Beef and Guinness Pies — How to make mini meat filled pies with ground beef cooked with onions, carrots and Guinness stout beer.
  • Homemade Cherry Pie — How to make cherry pie from scratch with a lightly sweetened filling of fresh (or frozen) cherries, vanilla, and almond extract.
  • No-Fail Pumpkin Pie — How to make classic, unfussy pumpkin pie from scratch. This is our favorite way to make pumpkin pie. It’s easy, too!

Easy Butter Pastry Dough

  • PREP

If you are looking for a basic, all-butter pastry dough recipe to use for savory and sweet dishes, you have found it. Our recipe makes enough dough for one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies. Using a food processor in this recipe eliminates variability. It is important that all the ingredients and even the food processor bowl and blade are cold before starting the recipe.

Enough for one 9-inch double crust pie

You Will Need

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 cup (227 grams or 2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup very cold water


    1Cut the butter into small pieces, then place into the freezer along with the food processor bowl and blade for about 10 minutes.

    2Once the food processor bowl and blade are chilled, add the flour, sugar, and salt; pulse a few times to combine.

    3Add the chilled pieces of butter and pulse for 1 second about 8 times until it looks crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

    4Use a tablespoon measure to add 3 tablespoons of cold water to the dough and pulse for 1 second; repeat this process until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and comes together.

    5Place the dough on a floured work surface and use your hands to bring it together into a ball; do not knead. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut the ball in half, then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months (thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/8 of the recipe (slice of double crust pie) / Calories 348 / Total Fat 23.4g / Saturated Fat 14.4g / Cholesterol 61mg / Sodium 158.9mg / Carbohydrate 30.4g / Dietary Fiber 1.1g / Total Sugars 0.6g / Protein 4.3g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Recipe updated, originally posted October 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

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36 comments… Leave a Review
  • Bobbjo Henninger July 30, 2023, 2:30 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. It’s easy and easy to follow to. I used my hands and it worked great. So you don’t need a food processor. I made sheets for turn overs and it came out fabulous

    • Joanne September 18, 2023, 8:45 pm

      We are thrilled that you gave our recipe a try! Thanks for coming back.

  • Emma May 9, 2023, 4:13 pm

    How long do you bake it for and what temperature please

    • Joanne September 18, 2023, 8:28 pm

      Hi Emma, This will depend on the pie recipe you are making. This is only for the pie dough. I’d read through some of our pie recipes for bake times and temperatures suggestions. Here’s our apple pie, our pumpkin pie, and our blueberry pie.

  • Jocelyn Mallory July 21, 2021, 3:41 pm

    This is much easier and less messy than your original instructions. Thank you for improving the prep on a great recipe.

    • Joanne September 18, 2023, 8:46 pm

      Yay! We are glad we improved things. Inspired Taste has been around for a while, and we are always trying to improve our recipes to make them more clear.

  • Karla October 29, 2020, 2:38 pm

    Thank you

  • Alyssa May 3, 2020, 8:59 am

    If I wanted to make a savoury pie, will i still put the sugar?

    • Adam September 18, 2021, 2:00 pm

      You can leave the sugar out.

  • Pamela October 13, 2019, 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe! I’d only tried party dough once before, and it was horrible. I’ve made this one twice this weekend and it’s been perfect both times! Your detailed instructions are so helpful!

    • Joanne September 18, 2023, 8:46 pm

      That’s wonderful, Pamela! Thanks for coming back and sharing this with us.

  • Mary July 29, 2019, 6:42 pm

    Everything looks so good

    • Joanne September 18, 2023, 8:47 pm

      Thank you, we hope you try it!

  • Linda July 1, 2019, 5:07 pm

    Thank you


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