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Plse Critique This Whole Wheat Pie Crust Recipe

opinionatedchef Dec 16, 2011 11:45 PM

I've been experimenting this last year w/ increasing my use of whole wheat flour. Now I want a whole wheat pie crust that will be tasty,nutty, tender and flaky.( I mostly make Quiche Lorraine, and vegetable tarts.) Here is the recipe I developed and want to try. I've included the wheat germ for added nuttiness, potato flour and vinegar for tenderness, and the crisco for flakiness. (Am i right that margarine is not interchangeable w/ crisco for producing flakiness?)

Plse let me know your thoughts.Thanks so much.


1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 c. white pastry flour

2T. potato flour

2T. wheat germ

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 4 ou. stick frozen unsalted butter, cut up

4 T. frozen crisco , cut up

2 large eggs

1 T. white vinegar

3-4T. ice water

Sift flour through salt. Put in cuisinart bowl; buzz a few seconds to combine.

Disperse butter and crisco around on top of flour mixture. Pulse until shortening is pea sized. Whisk or fork well the eggs through 3 T. ice water; while cuisinart is running, pour through feed tube and process just a few seconds until mixture just begins to clump. Pour out into bowl and knead lightly and quickly, adding 1T. or more ice water if needed to get all to hold together.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface, divide in two parts and pat each down lightly and quickly into a disc 1- 1 1/2 " thick.* Put in plastic container w/ tight fitting lid and refrigerate 1 hr or more.

Makes 2 10" single pie crusts.

* the less you handle the dough, the more tender it will be.

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  1. k
    Kelli2006 RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 03:04 AM

    I question using both wheat germ and white pastry flour. I'd use all whole wheat pastry flour and no wheat germ before I'd add both white pastry flour and wheat germ. The potato flour will keep moisture and tenderness in the dough.

    You might want to use butter-flavored Crisco and butter instead of white Crisco and butter. Ive never frozen Crisco but I do understand the reason for doing so.

    I like to use either table salt or sea salt instead of kosher for baking because it incorporates more evenly, but that is nit-picking.

    Everything else looks good and I'm interested in how it works, with or w/o my suggestions, so please report back.

    1. ipsedixit RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 12:42 PM

      Some thoughts.

      FLOUR: I would just whole wheat flour, and dispense with any type of pastry flour (either wheat or white) and also leave out the potato flour and wheat germ. If you did want to mix and match I would maybe (stress *maybe*) add a tad of whole wheat pastry flour -- maybe in a 1:4 ratio. So you use 3 parts whole wheat flour and 1 part whole wheat pastry flour.

      FAT: I would use less Crisco and more butter. While I know that shortening generally gives you a flakier crust (as opposed to a pure butter one), I think you should use more butter relative to the shortening because ...

      VODKA. I would use vodka instead of vinegar, but that's a personal preference. The vodka will allow you to achieve flakiness even if you use more butter than you had originally planned.

      Those are just my feeble thoughts. Good luck!

      7 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        opinionatedchef RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 12:49 PM

        ips, appreciaye your thoughts but i do not understand the whys, particularly w/ no pastry flour and vodka.

        kelli, thnx for telling me about butter flav crisco; didn't know it existed.

        and> can marg provide flakiness like crisco?

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          ipsedixit RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 12:56 PM

          RE: Pastry Flour. That's just a personal preference of mine. It's good for biscuits, but not pie crusts in my opinion.

          RE Vodka. It's absolutely critical to making a flaky crust (esp. important here when using a dense flour like whole wheat). Vodka gives the dough the liquid it needs to come together but being mostly alcohol, evaporates in the oven, leaving you with an extra flaky dough. And it is odorless and colorless so it won't mess up the taste of your crust.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            opinionatedchef RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 01:17 PM

            now that's terrific info that i can now understand about the vodka, and will do this.

            but PASTRY flour >> NOT for pastry? I confused! what does it do that you don't like in pastry but that you like in biscuits? thnx again for the education. (i've been using pastry flr for biscuits, cookies(i never make crisp cookies) pie crust.)

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              ipsedixit RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 01:21 PM

              Here's a good quick tutorial on pie crusts, which you can adapt to your whole wheat experiment.


              1. re: ipsedixit
                opinionatedchef RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2011 04:54 PM

                ips, this was really cool; thnx so much. one poster mentioned they had done it w wh wht pastry flr and had success; that's the only reference to pastry flr in it.

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  magiesmom RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 05:10 PM

                  not white whole wheat pastry flour ( which I don't think exists). White whole wheat flour.

          2. re: opinionatedchef
            Kelli2006 RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 03:24 PM

            Margerine will give you the flakiness because it isnt the patiticular fat that gives you the flakiness but the interlayering of the layers of fat and flour that creates flakes. If you are going to use margeine then I use a good quality such as Land O' Lakes or the one Kosher brand whose name escapes me at the moment.

            Lard is also a possiblity but it has a taste that some people might find objectionable.

        2. m
          magiesmom RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 01:02 PM

          I would use white whole wheat instead of the two pastry flours. I agree about the vodka.
          Are you opposed to using lard? if so, go with the real butter and crisco, as the butter flavor is so nice and not duplicated in BFC.

          1. greygarious RE: opinionatedchef Dec 17, 2011 03:18 PM

            Why eggs? That's counterproductive if you want a flaky crust. Freeze your fat and grate on a box grater then do everything in a bowl. Turn out the dough on a floured board and do a little fraisage. The processor creates too uniform a dough and wreaks havoc with gluten formation. You want sheets of fat to create flaky layers. I use White Whole Wheat flour, no AP flour.

            1. Caitlin McGrath RE: opinionatedchef Dec 20, 2011 01:19 PM

              My mother makes only whole wheat pie crusts, using all whole wheat pastry flour (much more successful than plain whole wheat flour, which is coarser and higher in protein; WWPF has a protein content more similar to AP, higher than white pastry flour). Hers are all butter, so don't have shortening crusts' level of flakiness, but they are tender and have a delicately nutty flavor. She makes them by hand with a pastry cutter, just flour, salt, butter, ice water. You''re going for something slightly different, but I'd use all whole wheat pastry flour and see how it goes.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                opinionatedchef RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 20, 2011 03:30 PM

                thanks caitlin;i'll try that, but w/ vodka. I wish ipsedixit would help me understand why they don't care for pastry flour in pastry.

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  ipsedixit RE: opinionatedchef Dec 20, 2011 07:26 PM

                  With a low protein flour like pastry or cake flour, you will end up with a very tender dough and hence a very tender crust, making it almost too delicate.

                  Conversely, when you use all purpose flour (i.e. a higher protein flour), you tend to get a tougher dough.

                  This is why I prefer to make biscuits with pastry or cake flour, and use all-purpose flour to make pie crusts.

                  I can counteract the high protein content of all purpose flour with extra fat, and the vodka, which gives me the best of both worlds -- a flaky crust that has some body and texture and is not so tender as to have the mouth feel of croissant-like biscuits.

                  Hope that helps.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    opinionatedchef RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2011 09:54 PM

                    thank you ips. i will mention that i did make this recipe and i would def not describe the crust as anywhere near too delicate. in fact, it cut better with a knife than a fork. but i did also overbake it.

              2. paulj RE: opinionatedchef Dec 20, 2011 02:56 PM

                I don't understand this "Here is the recipe I developed and want to try." Is this just a theoretical recipe, or one that you have perfected with many trials? The ingredients are cheap enough that you should be able to test a dozen variations without breaking the bank.

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