This recipe is from Alice Waters, “The Art of Simple Food”. It was a revelation of perfection. When I followed her instructions the crust was light, easy to work with and absolutely delicious. I don’t even want to look further. The crust still tastes amazing using 100% whole wheat pastry flour but using 1/2 organic all-purpose flour brings it to a slightly more gourmet level. When I rolled it out, I tried using plastic wrap to keep the dough from sticking. Perhaps my dough was too wet but I found it to be a bother. Since then I’ve followed Water’s advice and just used as much flour as I needed for the counter and the dough top. It’s been a thing of beauty.
I believe that the phenomenal taste is solely due to the butter, unsalted butter seems to have so much more of a fresh, buttery taste. If you only have salted butter, omit the salt.
I always double the recipe so I can have an extra crust for another meal. Shepherd’s pie, perhaps? Makes 4 very thin crusts or better yet, 3 full-bodied crusts. Who doesn’t like a mouthful of crispy, buttery crust?
4 cups all-purpose and/or freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. sea salt
3 sticks cold unsalted butter, preferably organic
1 cup ice-cold water
1. Whisk the flour and salt together.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes. Work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or fingertips, leaving some pieces fairly large, or pulse in a food processor until there are just small clumps of butter left.
3. Pour 3/4 (or so)of the water into the dough until it just begins to come together. Keep adding water if needed.
4. Divide the dough into 3 balls, compressing firmly. Shape into discs and warp in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour or longer.
1. Allow dough around 20 minutes, more or less, to become workable. Dust your work surface well with flour and roll out dough in a wheel-spoke pattern, pausing to turn the dough a bit and to re-dust with flour.
2. Line the crust with parchment paper or foil. Bake @ 375° for 15 minutes with pie weights or beans. Edges should be golden.
3. Remove the weights and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until evenly browned.
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