How to Make Fail-Proof Sourdough Pie Crust

I don’t do rolling pins. In fact, I don’t bake much at all, except bread and the occasional brownie. But for all you pie lovers out there, here’s a great fail-proof sourdough pie crust. Combine it with some fermented fruit, and you have a healthy, probiotic-rich dessert.

Posted by Ashley

If you’re a sourdough baker, you’re constantly looking for a way to use the extra half of  starter that you’re told to throw away each time you feed your sourdough baby. You want to keep your sourdough healthy and vigorous, but at the same time throwing away a chunk of it just seems wasteful.

Luckily, that extra sourdough chunk, at 100-percent hydration, should be just right for this sourdough pie crust. In this recipe, the sourdough starter is substituted for the cold water that would be present in a traditional pie crust.

The crust is then allowed to culture at room temperature for six to eight hours, before being placed in the refrigerator to chill. Both steps—counter culturing and fridge chilling—are essential to a good sourdough pie crust. Without the counter culture step your crust won’t have time to ferment, but in order to be a flaky crust, the butter needs to be chilled before baking. Otherwise, the crust becomes a tough, greasy mess.

If you have been feeding your starter with one cup flour and a half cup water at each feeding—which roughly equates to equal parts flour and water by weight—than your starter is at 100-percent hydration and perfect for this recipe. If you’ve been using a different ratio, switch to the one cup flour to half cup water ratio for a few feedings before attempting to make sourdough pie crust.

How to Make Sourdough Pie Crust

Yield: One double pie crust for one pie, or two single crusts
Fermentation Time: 6-8 Hours
Chill Time: 1-2 Hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb sugar (optional, for sweet pies. Omit for quiche.)
  • 1 cup butter, very cold (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup sourdough starter at 100% hydration

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, salt and sugar, if using.
  2. Chop butter into small pieces or slices and add to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the flour looks like it has pea-sized or smaller butter lumps. The butter should be very cold to keep it from melting in this process. The chunks of butter remaining in the pie crust will be what helps to make a flaky and light crust, so avoid incorporating the butter completely. There are many different ways to do this—a pastry knife or food processor are the most commonly used.
  3. Slowly add the sourdough starter, mixing it with the butter/flour mixture until it just comes together. Depending on your mixing style, and the exact amounts, it should take somewhere between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of sourdough starter to bring the crust together without being so wet that it’s sticky or soupy, or so dry that it crumbles apart.
  4. Once the dough comes together, bring it into a ball and allow it to culture on the counter at room temperature, covered loosely by a towel, for six to eight hours.
  5. After the fermentation time, break the crust into two pieces and flatten them out into disks so they’ll be easier to roll out later. Transfer your disks to the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably two or more, so that they’re really cold before rolling them out and using them as you would a regular pie crust.

Fermentools has several recipes that would make great fillers for your sourdough pie crust. You could make a quiche using fermented garlic. Just mince fine and sprinkle on the top as soon as you take it from the oven. Or, you could pre-bake your crust and fill with a combination of Orange Spiced Fermented Blueberries and Kefir Cream Cheese.

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At Fermentools, we’re serious about our sourdough. From waffles to English muffins to your everyday loaf, we’ve got you covered. For more delicious recipes, visit our Healthy Bread Recipe page.

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Ashley is an off grid homesteader in central Vermont. She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie and foraging. Read more about her adventures at PracticalSelfReliance.com.

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