The Basics: Pastry Dough

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Editor-in-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Writers Food Stylist Pastry Chef Recipe Developer Author Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom News Network WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Alabama Sports Entertaining Cooking Lessons How To Southern Recipes & Craft IdeasBaking & Pastry Essentials

The Technique

Pastry Dough

Making homemade pie crust from scratch has almost become a lost art & quite possibly a bit intimidating. With prepared dough ready for cooks in the refrigerated grocery case, the convenience to pick up a box & unroll it into a pie plate is hard to resist. However, you should certainly try your hand at crafting your own & I’m here to guide you every step of the way. There are many ways to prepare a dough from scratch. It can be blended by hand or in a food processor. Some use all butter or all vegetable shortening. The ingredients can be combined with a fork while others have you cutting in the fat with a pastry blender. Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough features the best of both worlds by combining two types of fat & the addition of yellow cornmeal for good, gritty texture resulting in a flaky, rustic crust. The dough is versatile enough for saucy fruit filled favorites or simple chess pies. You may be reluctant to try making your own at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be fluting your way to the next pot luck social with grace & style.

The Lesson

I learned how to make a quality pastry dough when working in the restaurants after culinary school. There was a well seasoned cook who could scoop up a bit of flour, cut in some butter & drizzle it with a little ice water to yield the most delicious crust. I watched carefully. Only once. My eyes wide as she didn’t measure a thing. Many times one moment is all you get to receive some of the most valuable information someone will ever reveal to you without that person even knowing it. She shared two techniques in particular that have become indispensable. After blending the ingredients & forming the dough into a disc, instead of wrapping & chilling before rolling it out on a lightly floured surface she went ahead & rolled the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. The chill time took place afterwards. It’s timesaving & a very smart move as the dough is much easier to roll & you’re not drying it out with any additional dusting flour. I’ll reveal the other tip she shared soon but for now, I invite you to give her technique a try that yields an exceptional, easy-to-manage flaky crust. My recipe is a good bit more complex than hers but both are equally satisfying as the method is what matters the most. From blending the ingredients to the final cut, here’s what you need to know to make your very best pie crust.

How To Make Pie Crust By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama Southern Hostess Sports Entertaining

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickButtermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough
makes 1 {10-inch} pie crust

1 1/2 cups ap flour
3 Tbsp plain yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup cold shortening
3 to 4 Tbsp whole buttermilk

Whisk together the flour, the cornmeal & the salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter & the shortening into the mixture using a fork or your fingers until crumbly in texture making certain to leave some of the fat in large bits. Drizzle the buttermilk over the mixture & shape the dough into a disc.

Place the dough disc between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Remove the top piece of plastic & invert the dough into a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Remove the second piece of plastic wrap. Fit the dough down into the pie plate. Lift the excess dough hanging over the sides & fold it under so that it rests on the lip of the pan. Crimp the dough around edges in a decorative pattern. Secure a few pieces of the dough underneath the lip of the pie plate. Chill 1 hour. Use as directed in recipes.

Baking Instructions

Partially Baked Crust

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the unbaked crust on a half sheet pan. Place a piece of parchment paper into the crust. Top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the middle oven rack 15 minutes. Remove the partially baked crust from the oven. Remove the pie weights or dried beans. Cool 10 minutes before filling & baking further according to recipe instructions.

Fully Baked Crust

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the unbaked crust on a half sheet pan. Place a piece of parchment paper into the crust. Top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the middle oven rack 15 minutes. Remove the partially baked crust from the oven. Remove the pie weights or dried beans. Bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before filling according to recipe instructions.

Southern Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickFROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK
{testing notes}

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Editor-in-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Writers Food Stylist Pastry Chef Recipe Developer Author Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom News Network WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Alabama Sports Entertaining Cooking Lessons How To Southern Recipes & Craft IdeasHow To Make Pastry Dough

Pastry dough isn’t difficult to prepare.
Pantry staples step in to pull it together in no time.
With sufficient guidance & loads of valuable techniques, you’ll become a pro quickly. 

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama Editor-in-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Pastry Chef Author Food Stylist Recipe Developer Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Sports Entertaining Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom News Network WBRC Fox 6 Cooking Lessons How To Recipes & Original Food Crafts & Party Ideas The Technique

No. 1

The Blending

Pastry dough can be made in a food processor but it tends to over blend the fat. It takes the same amount of time to prepare by hand with a much flakier result.

Leave a few larger chunks of fat throughout the mixture. The majority should have fat pieces the size of peas. A few kidney bean-sized pieces will bake & melt to create extra flaky pockets in the crust.

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry Dough By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama Editor-in-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Pastry Chef Author Writer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Tailgating Expert Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom Sports WBRC Fox 6 Cooking Lessons How To Recipes & Food Craft Party Ideas Sports Entertaining Southern HostessNo. 2

The Rolling

Once the rolling process begins, the larger fat chunks will flatten throughout the dough. These flattened pieces, coated with flour, are what create the flakiness desired in a crust. The fat must also be large enough so as not to melt instantly in a hot oven. 

The key thing to note when rolling dough is to prevent gluten development. When flour is over worked, the proteins bond together forming gluten. This will result in a tough crust. 

Although not a traditional method, rolling the dough between plastic wrap is smart. Since the fat hasn’t firmed back up yet, it’s much easier to flatten quickly.

If your kitchen is warm & the dough texture becomes soft. Place the dough in the refrigerator a few minutes to firm the fat back up. You can then proceed with the step at hand.

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pie Crust By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick TV Cooking Personality Birmingham Alabama Pastry Chef Editor-in-Chief Writer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Author Sports Entertaining Southern Hostess Tailgating Expert Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom News Network WBRC Fox 6 Cooking Lessons How To Recipes & Party Ideas Sports EntertainingNo. 3

The Fitting

The dough will be firm yet pliable in between the plastic wrap.  Place the flattened dough onto an inverted sheet pan. The flat surface will make it easy to transfer from the counter top. Remove one piece of the plastic wrap. Invert the pie plate over the exposed dough & quickly flip it.

Once in the pie plate, remove the second piece of plastic wrap. Press the dough down into the bottom & along the sides for a more snug fit. Take the excess dough hanging over the edge & fold it under so it rests on the lip.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Pie Dough By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Buttermilk Lipstick Editor-in-Chief Birmingham Alabama Pastry Chef Author Writer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Cooking Lessons Sports Entertaining Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom News Network WBRC Fox 6 Original Recipes & Food Craft Party Ideas No. 4

The Fluting

Fluting or crimping the dough offers a beautiful presentation around the baked pie. For a simple sunshine crust edge, press to compact the dough around the lip. Gently press small bits of dough together using your thumb & forefinger.

If the pastry feels a tad dry, moisten your finger tips with a dab of water. Conversely, dip them in a little flour if necessary.

Continue the fluting technique around the entire circumference of the pie plate. Attach a few pieces of dough underneath the pie plate to secure as it bakes. 

How To Make Pie Crust By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick TV Cooking Personality Editor-In-Chief Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Southern Hostess Tailgating Expert Birmingham Alabama WBRC Fox 6 Raycom News Network Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Cooking Lessons Recipes & Food Craft Party IdeasNo. 5

The Chilling

Cold ingredients are key to achieving the flakiness desired in an exceptional pie crust. Butter, in particular, needs time to firm back up before going into a hot oven since the fat in pastry dough serves as a separator.

As the crust bakes, the dough will begin to set above & below the fat that was cut into it. When those pieces of cold fat finally do melt, the liquid in the dough creates steam. When the steam expands, the result is the flaky texture desired.

How To Make Pie Crust By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Editor-in-Chief TV Cooking Personality Writer Food Stylist Recipe Developer Author Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Sports Entertaining Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Raycom Sports Birmingham Alabama WBRC Fox 6 Cooking Lessons How To Buttermilk-Cornmeal Pastry DoughNo. 6

The Blind Baking

Blind baking is a step that prepares the crust for the filling. The most straightforward method calls to line the unbaked crust with parchment paper. It’s then filled with pie weights or dried beans, about a pound or so will do the trick. The weight over the dough will yield a flat bottom crust ideal for a variety of fillings.

Docking the dough is another method that can ensure a level baked crust. A fork or dough docking tool is used to prick small holes into the dough. Although not used in this application, it’s an interchangeable alternative to using pie weights.

Follow individual recipe instructions to yield fully baked or partially baked crusts. The total bake time will guide you as to which application should be implemented.

Buttermilk Lemon Meringue Pie By Rebecca Gordon TV Cooking Personality Editor-in-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Sports Entertaining Writer Food Stylist Tide & Tigers Today Tailgate Host Tailgating Expert WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Alabamaetc

Cooking Lessons
Put the recipe & techniques to work & hand craft a beautiful pie 

Lemon-Buttermilk Meringue Pie

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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