This all-butter sourdough shortcrust pastry is flaky and tender.
A sourdough shortcrust pastry makes the perfect pie dough for both sweet and savoury pies and tarts. This recipe makes enough for a double sourdough pie crust.
Try it in this apple pie recipe!
Cold butter is roughly cut into flour and bound together with a cold liquid to create a thick pastry dough. When the pastry is baked the water in the butter evaporates and creates little pockets of air throughout the pastry.
The Sourdough Starter
This sourdough shortcrust pastry uses cold discard starter as its main liquid. Using discard starter straight from the fridge helps to keep the butter cold in the dough. This recipe uses a starter at 100% hydration, meaning it was fed equal parts water and flour in weight.
The amount of liquid present in the sourdough starter will depend on how old the discard starter is. A starter that has not been fed for a long time is often quite runny. A runny starter means less water will be needed in the dough to bind it. A younger starter won't be so liquid and more water will be needed in the dough.
The acid in the sourdough discard starter helps to create an extra tender pastry.
Learn to make your own sourdough starter!
Making Shortcrust Pastry Dough - 3 Rules
When making sourdough shortcrust pastry there are 3 things to pay attention to.
- It's important to not overwork the pastry dough. Overworking the dough will make the pastry tough.
- Keep the butter in the pastry cold and in coarse bread crumb sized pieces. Letting the butter melt or become too small means there won't be any layers in the pastry once baked.
- Don't add too much water. It should hold together easily but not be sticky. Adding too much water into the dough will overdevelop the gluten in the flour and create a chewy pastry.
Sourdough Shortcrust Pastry Method
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) and stir them together. Chop the cold butter into small cubes and add them to the flour. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. A few larger pea-sized pieces in there are good too. If at any point the butter begins to melt, place the bowl in the fridge or freezer to cool it down.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add in the sourdough starter. Use a fork to combine it and add in ½ a tablespoon of cold water at a time to form a thick dough. It needs to hold together easily but not be wet or sticky.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and gently form it into a mound. Don’t over knead it. Cut the mound into two and form each piece into a disc. Wrap the dough discs in cling wrap or beeswax wraps to stop them from drying out and chill them in the fridge for 4 hours or up to 3 days. Letting the dough chill for at least 4 hours will let the sourdough starter begin to ferment the flour in the pastry which will help make it tender.
Baking Shortcrust Pastry and Long-term Storage
Use the sourdough shortcrust pastry in your favourite pie recipes, like this sourdough apple pie. Baking time will depend on the recipe used.
The un-baked pastry dough can be frozen for up to three months for future use. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before rolling out.
This recipe makes a double pie crust which works well for a pie that needs a bottom layer and top layer of pastry. If only needing one layer, freeze the remaining half for another time.
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- 230g all-purpose flour
- 150g unsalted butter, cold
- 140g discard sourdough starter, cold
- 1 tablespoon sugar*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-5 tablespoon iced water or more as needed
- In a large bowl add the flour, sugar (if using) and salt and stir them together.
- Chop the cold butter into small cubes and add the cubes in. Use a pastry cutter to further cut the butter into the flour, until it resembles coarse bread crumbs, with a few larger pea-sized pieces in there too. If at any point the butter begins to melt, place the bowl in the fridge or freezer to cool it down.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add in the sourdough starter. Use a fork to combine it and add in ½ tablespoon at a time of ice-cold water to form a thick dough. The end dough should hold together easily but it shouldn’t be wet or sticky.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and gently form it into a mound. Don’t over knead it. Cut the mound into two and form each piece into a disc. Wrap the dough discs in cling wrap or beeswax wrap to stop them from drying out and chill them in the refrigerator for 4 hours or up to 3 days before rolling out and using.
*omit the sugar if making a savoury crust.
The dough can be wrapped up tightly and frozen for up to three months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 235mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g