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Apr 13, 2013 03:51 PM

Pie crust -- chilling flour?

I understand the science behind using chilled butter and shortening, ice water, chilling the crust, etc. So I'm wondering, why not go beyond that and chill your flour? Would that alter the chemistry of the flour too much? Or would it actually help prevent forming tough gluten that takes away from the flakiness of pie crust? Or would it simply do nothing? Any thoughts? Anyone tried this? Seen it in a recipe?

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  1. No I"ve never chilled my flour, I'm happy witht the results nevertheless.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      That's a very good point. Same here. I guess I was just asking from more of a curiosity standpoint. And perhaps ensuring definite consistency.

      1. re: korrie

        Well you're right, I'm starting to rethink my position after reading the other answers!

    2. Go ahead. Chill the flour if it helps you keep everything really cold. I often store flour in the fridge because I use different types and I want to keep them fresh.

      3 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        I keep whole wheat flour in the fridge too. Also my pastry cloth and my wooden rolling pin. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd chill the pin rather than the flour, since dough gets chilled before rolling anyway.

        1. re: greygarious

          That's a great idea; I didn't even think of that. Making a pie right now, and I'm gonna throw my pin in the fridge.

          1. re: greygarious

            How do u store the flour (vessel?) I used to store flour in the refrigerator in my old place. I may have to store some flour for the summer and want to avoid condensation.

        2. I've never done that but it sounds like an excellent idea. I don't think anything in flour gives a hoot whether it's warm or cold, at least within the vary narrow range that we humans perceive as such, but fats have a narrower range - much narrower. I think anything that helps to prevent the fat from becoming liquid while the dough is being made and rolled out is a very good thing.

          1. Some RLB'S recipes call for freezing the flour mix first.

            1. If it is particularly warm in the kitchen I will chill the flour. Putting cold butter into warm flour will warm the butter and defeat the purpose of using cold butter.

              1 Reply
              1. re: babette feasts

                I suppose that depends on how warm your kitchen is. I have never noticed flour to be "warm" at all, and when I add my frozen butter, Crisco and ice water, the whole mass is extremely cold.