Flaky Gluten-Free All-Butter Pie Dough (Whole-Grain + Gum-Free)
This dough is adapted from my book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours which is full of luscious pie recipes using this dough and its variations, including a vegan version. It's your ticket to crisp, tender, flaky pie dough loaded with whole grain oat and millet flours and free of gums. See variations below for doughs made with sorghum and buckwheat flours. The buttermilk variation makes for an extra flaky, rich dough that is easier to work with – highly recommended!
Keyword all butter pie crust recipe, gluten-free pie crust recipe, whole grain pie crust recipe
2 1/2tablespoonsfinely ground chia seed (I grind mine in a coffee grinder)(.5 ounces / 15 grams)
1tablespoonsugar(.5 ounces / 15 grams)
1/2teaspoonfine sea salt
8tablespoonscold, unsalted butter (preferably European-style such as Straus), sliced 1/4" thick(4 ounces / 115 grams)
1teaspoonapple cider vinegar
Make the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the rice, oat, and millet flours with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seed, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces of the top, and work in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles gravel, with lots of butter chunks the size of large peas.
Stir together 6 tablespoons of the ice water with the apple cider vinegar, and drizzle the mixture into the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing the dough with a rubber spatula to moisten evenly. Add just enough water for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury bits that like to hang out on the bottom of the bowl; you may need up to 8 tablespoons of water, total.
At this point you can do one of two things:
Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times to bring it together.
Dump the dough out onto the counter and fraisage by dragging portions of the dough across the counter with the heel of your hand (this makes for a flakier dough). Either way, gather the dough up into a ball (a metal bench scraper helps if using the fraisage method) wrap it loosely in plastic wrap, and flatten it into a disk. Chill the dough 30 minutes.
Optionally, for extra flake, roll, fold, roll, or "turn" the dough:
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out into a rough square that is about 1/4" thick. Fold it in thirds like you're folding a letter, then roll up from a skinny end into a loose spiral. Gently press to flatten it slightly, and chill for 30 minutes. Optionally, repeat this step once more.
Shape the crust:
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 12" circle, dusting the dough lightly with oat flour flour as needed, rotating and flipping it to prevent it from sticking. Ease the dough into a 9" glass pie plate, fit it into the corners, and trim it to a 1" overhang. (Save the scraps to patch any tears in the dough post-parbaking.) Fold the overhang of the crust under, and flute the crust by pressing it between the thumb of one hand and the index finger and thumb of the other hand. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Chill the crust for 20 minutes, then freeze it for at least 20 minutes, until solid.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400º. If you have a baking stone, put it on the rack. Place the frozen crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Line it with a piece of parchment paper, and fill to the top with pie weights, dry beans, or clean pennies, pressing the weights into the sides and corners of the crust. Bake the crust for 15-30 minutes (shorter for a metal pan, longer for a glass pan), until the dough will hold its shape when you lift off the parchment. Carefully remove the weights and parchment and bake until the bottom is dry and lightly golden, about 8-12 minutes longer (for a parbaked crust) or until deeply golden, 15-20 minutes (for a fully baked crust). Use the saved scraps of dough to patch any holes, cracks, or tears in the dough, baking for a few more minutes post-patching.
Variation with buttermilk (my favorite!): Omit the vinegar. For the liquid in the recipe, stir together 4 tablespoons cold buttermilk with 4 tablespoons of ice water. Proceed with the recipe, adding more ice water if needed to moisten the dough after all the buttermilk mixture has been added.Variation with sorghum flour: Omit the millet flour, using 1/4 cup (30 g) sorghum flour in its place.Variation with buckwheat flour: Omit the millet flour, using 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (45 g) buckwheat flour and decreasing the oat flour to 1/4 cup (25 g).Vegan pie crust variation:Use vegan butter in place of the butter, and decrease the salt if the butter is salty. I like Miyoko's cultured vegan butter the best.Paleo pie crust variation:Instead of the flours, use 1/2 cup blanched almond flour, 1/2 cup cassava flour, and 1/4 cup tapioca flour. Omit the sugar or use maple sugar. Use 2 teaspoons lemon juice in place of the vinegar if you like, and decrease the ice water to 5-6 tablespoons, or until the dough holds together. If you're dairy-free, use vegan butter in place of the butter, and decrease the salt if the butter is salty.Variation in a food processor: Once you've made this dough a few times by hand and have a feel for how it comes together, you can throw caution to the wind and make it in a food processor. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of the processor and scatter the butter slices over the top, but don't pulse them in yet. Place the bowl on the food processor, put the lid on, and open up the pouring spout. While pouring in the ice water mixture, pulse the processor in short bursts. By the time the liquid is added, the butter should be broken down into the size of peas. Give the dough a squeeze to make sure it's properly hydrated, pulsing in more ice water if needed. Wrap and chill the dough, making the turns if you like for extra flake.A few notes on ingredients: This is the flour blend that works for me, but do feel free to experiment as you see fit. If you can't find sweet rice flour, which is widely available in Asian markets, try a GF all-purpose blend in its place, such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 baking mix, which is made largely of sweet rice flour. (I would hesitate to substitute regular rice flour, which is less sticky and will make for a brittle dough). Chia seed can be found at any health food store or upscale market; I use the lighter colored seeds, grind a bunch ahead of time, and keep them in a jar to use as needed. If you can't find chia seeds, try using an equal amount of ground flax seed (these have a slightly stronger flavor), or 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum in their place. European-style butters have more fat and less water, and will make for the most rich and tender crust; Strauss and Plugra are two widely available brands.A few notes on timing: If your dough has chilled for a while and cracks when you go to roll it, let it warm up a bit; this will make it easier to work with. Give yourself three hours to complete a parbaked crust if you plan to give your dough a puff pastry-esque turn (which I call roll, fold, roll), or two hours if you're skipping this step. Most of this time is inactive. The ideal timeframe for making this crust is as follows: 10 minutes to mix and fraisage the dough 30 minutes to chill 10 minutes to roll out and fold 30 minutes to chill 10 minutes to roll out the dough, get it in the pan, shape it, and dock it 20 minutes to chill 20 minutes to freeze 30-40 minutes to par-bake the crustDo ahead: You can make the dough up to two days ahead; let it soften up a bit before rolling it out. You can also wrap a frozen shell, baked or unbaked, for up to several months.Nutritional values are based on one of nine servings.