3-2-1 Pie Dough

The easiest pie dough recipe you'll find. It works for pies both sweet and savory—and it's as easy to remember as it is to produce. Whether you're making pie for 1 or 100, this is all you'll need.

3-2-1 Pie Dough
3-2-1 Pie Dough

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This recipe is perfect because it’s incredibly easy to remember, amazingly easy to produce, and infinitely applicable to treats both sweet and savory. It has saved our butts a few times when we had excess fruit at the end of a summer day. Here’s where the “3-2-1” part fits in: By weight, this dough is three parts flour, two parts butter, and one part ice water. Plus, throw in a teaspoon of fine sea salt for every double-crust pie you’re baking. That’s it. Now you can make any quantity you need.

3-2-1 Pie Dough

(Makes enough pastry for 1 standard two-crust pie)


    • 12 ounces chilled all-purpose flour
3-2-1 Pie Dough
3-2-1 Pie Dough from Baking By Hand: Make the Best Artisanal Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer by Andy and Jackie King.
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into medium dice
  • 4 ounces ice water


  1. Combine cold flour, salt, and cold butter in large bowl. Using fingers, begin to pinch and combine butter and flour, making sure not to hold the butter in your hands too long. Keep working flour and butter between fingers until largest pieces of butter are no smaller than peas. The key is to keep mixture as cold as possible, and if you feel that it is warming up too much, you can refrigerate it.
  2. Add ice water to flour-butter mixture, and toss together with fingers, eventually pressing it together with hands. You want dough to form with no dry patches or crumbly parts, but you do not want to overwork it so much that you break down butter completely. Otherwise, you will lose flakiness and your dough will become tougher. You want to see streaks of butter running through dough.
  3. Divide dough into two equal pieces and wrap them in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour before proceeding or overnight. You could also freeze at this point for future use.

Recipe and photo from Baking By Hand: Make the Best Artisanal Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer by Andy and Jackie King.

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