How to Make
Blue Ribbon
Pie Crust Course


You got to use this flour for your pie crust – How to control gluten development –

Do you know your pie crust flour?

Posted by Warren

Control gluten development.



You got to use the right flour or your crust will turn out tough or powdery

For a tender crust pick a low protein flour. Pastry flour with a protein content of about 8 to 10% is ideal for pie crust. This positions it between all-purpose flour and cake flour.

Pie crust is normally made with all-purpose flour, but not all all-purpose flours are created equal. Some flours have more proteins than others.

All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour works fine for most pies. Cake flour alone lacks enough protein to form a workable, elastic dough.

Cake flour

Cake flour is too high in starch, so it will not absorb enough water and produce a pasty enough dough.

Bread flour

Bread flour because of its high protein content, will absorb water quickly and develop gluten in great amounts. This will make a dough that it’s tough and elastic and sticky.


Pastry flour and all-purpose flour have the proper balance

Try using Vodka
instead of water
to control the development of gluten.
The alcohol cooks off
when baked in a hot oven.

Pastry flour and all-purpose flour have the proper balance of starch and protein. These flours have the desire amount of water absorption and gluten development to create a dough that is both flaky and tender.

If the flour you are using is making a tough crust, most likely there is too much protein in the flour.

The proteins in the flour, gliadin and glutenin, combine when water is added to form gluten. Too much of this with make for a tough crust.

You can correct this problem by replacing some of the flour used with cake flour. Try substituting a fourth of the flour with cake flour. If you normally use two cups of flour, use 1 1/2 cups of your flour with 1/2 cup of cake flour.

Pie Crust Flour Success

No matter what is tried for substituting for part of the flour, I recommend not to use cornstarch or baking powder.

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