Recipe: Pâte Brisée

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Makes about 10 ounces dough, enough for one 9-inch single-crust pie, 10-inch crostata, or 9-inch quiche

    • 1 cup (140 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon; 128 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tablespoons cold milk

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter over the top and mix on low speed for about 45 seconds, or until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and pecan-size lumps of butter are visible throughout.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk until blended. Add to the flour-butter mixture all at once. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the dough barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.

Dump the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and gather it together into a tight mound. Using your palm and starting on one side of the mound, smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top of the mound and then sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface (at Flour we call this "going down the mountain"), until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together. Do this once or twice on each part of the dough, moving through the mound until the whole mess has been smeared into a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.

Gather up the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and press down to flatten into a disk about one inch thick. Refrigerate for at least four hours before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to one month.

To read Joanne's article about how even novice bakers can produce satisfying desserts, click here.

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Joanne Chang is the chef/owner Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe. She has a degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University and was a pastry chef at Payard Patisserie and Mistral. Her book, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe, was released this October.

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