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Flaky Sourdough Pie Crust

I used to exclusively buy pre-made pie crusts at the grocery store because I loved the convenience. However, after realizing how many ingredients and additives are in these crusts, I decided I would make my own. Once I got into sourdough baking, I realized sourdough discard works super well to make tender pie crusts and decided to make my own flaky sourdough pie crust recipe. This recipe makes two single or one double pie crust. 

Most sourdough discard recipes are for sweet baked goods but there are many savory ways to use sourdough discard too. You can make savory pies with this pie crust or make sourdough flour tortillas.

Baked pie with sourdough pie crust.

Why is this Sourdough Pie Crust Recipe So Good?

Pie crusts are typically made with either butter or shortening. Shortening is great because it adds such a great, flaky texture you can’t get from butter. The caveat is that butter tastes much better than shortening. I decided I wanted the best of both worlds so I used both in this recipe. 

I am not afraid to mix fats in my baked goods because it creates really good results. I used this technique in my sourdough pumpkin muffin recipe and my sourdough pumpkin bread.  

Mixing the two fats in this pie crust resulted in a really flaky pie crust that has an absolutely delicious buttery flavor. The sourdough starter adds a slight tang that is subtle, but definitely there. 

Ingredients

I love homemade pie crusts because they are so easy to make, and you most likely have the ingredients already. 

Flour: I use all-purpose flour for this recipe but you can substitute a half cup of whole wheat flour for the regular white flour. If you have it, whole wheat pastry flour works best as a substitute. 

Sourdough Starter Discard: Sourdough starter can be used for so much more than just sourdough bread. Discard recipes like this are a great way to use extra sourdough starter and imparts a subtle sourdough flavor into your baked goods.

Make sure you use 100% hydration starter. This means you are feeding it equal parts flour and water (in grams) at each feed. This ratio ensures the dough has the right amount of water and flour in the recipe. We don’t need active sourdough starter to act as a leavening agent so you can use fed (i.e. active starter) or unfed sourdough starter discard.  

Salt: You can use iodized or sea salt. 

Fats: Most homemade pie crust recipes use only shortening or butter. Butter crust is known for having excellent flavor but it doesn’t make the crust quite as flaky as shortening does. I use both butter and vegetable shortening (like Crisco) in this recipe. Most of the fat comes from butter because it has such a delicious taste, but the small amount of shortening makes for an extra flaky and tender pie crust. 

Cold butter on a cutting board cut into approximate 1/2 inch cubes.

Water: You can use lukewarm water but cold water is better to keep the crust from melting when you are working with it. The chunks of butter and shortening are what make the crust so flaky so we want to preserve them by keeping our ingredients cold. 

Sourdough discard pie crust ingredients measured out into individual cups and containers.

How to Make Sourdough Discard Crust (Makes Two Pie Crusts)

Pulse the Dry Ingredients

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and salt. Pulse 2-3 times to mix. 

Add the shortening and cubed butter

Process on low speed until the mixture becomes crumbly. 

Dry ingredients for sourdough crust pulsed in the bowl of a food processor.
Bowl of a food processor containing flour mixture and shortening and cubed butter.

Add Sourdough Starter and Water

Pour over the sourdough discard and water and continue to process until the dough is well mixed and starting to come together. The dough will still be a bit crumbly but should stick together when pressed with two fingers.

Sourdough starter being poured into the crumbly flour-butter mixture in the bowl of a food processor.
Food processor containing the processed pie crust dough.

Knead the Dough

Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times. 

Cut and Shape the Dough

Cut the dough in half and shape each half into an approximate 4 inch disc. Wrap in a piece of plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. 

There is a pie crust that has been kneaded into a rough ball on a lightly floured cutting board.
Two approximate 4-inch pie crust dough shaped into rounds and covered in plastic wrap.

When Ready to Use

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. I like doing this step on a sheet of parchment paper because it allows you to easily turn the dough a quarter turn to help you roll out the round shape. Use a rolling pin to roll each pie dough into a large round about 1/4 inch thick.

Most pie plates are 9-12 inches wide so use that as your guide for big to make the bottom crust. It should be 2-3 inches wider than the width of your pie pan. Use as directed in your favorite pie recipes. 

Rolled out sourdough pie crust (in approximate 12 inch round) on a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper.
There is a pie plate that contains the bottom layer of the sourdough discard pie crust that is unbaked.

​How to Transfer the Pie Dough without Breaking It

I usually make this crust on parchment paper, which helps to lift the edge pie crust. I then roll the crust over a lightly floured rolling pin which helps support the crust through the transfer to the pie dish.

There is a hand holding a rolling pin that has the pie crust rolled over it. The hand is unrolling the pie crust over the pie plate filled with pie filling and the bottom crust.

How to Place the Top Crust 

Use the same method of rolling the pie crust over a rolling pin and roll it on top of the pie filling. Then, use your fingers or a fork to pinch the edges to create a good seal. Feel free to add a pretty design if you want. Then, use a knife to make four incisions over the surface to allow the steam to release from the pie.

Pie plate filled with an unbaked pie that has been scored in four places. The edges of the dough are sealed together.

How to Make Sourdough Discard Pie Crust without a Food Processor

If you do not have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender (aka a pastry cutter) to work the cold butter into the flour mixture in a large bowl. Make sure you continue to cut the butter in until you get very small pieces that are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add the water and sourdough discard and work it into the mixture until well mixed and incorporated. 

How to Serve Sourdough Pie Crust

This pie crust works in both single or double crust pie recipes. You can also make mini hand pies with this recipe.

You can use this sourdough pie crust in sweet or savory pies. I love using it in my favorite sourdough chicken pot pie recipe.

If you plan on using it in sweet pies like apple pie or blueberry pie, you can add 1 tablespoon of white sugar with the flour and salt. 

You can also use it for single crust pies like my easy sourdough pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas. To get the best texture, blind bake the pie crust with pie weights in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes before adding your pie filling. Blind baking helps keep the bottom crust from getting soggy. 

Baked pie with sourdough pie crust.

How to Store

If you need to make this dough ahead of time, keep it in the refrigerator for 48 hours in advance of when you need to make it. I recommend storing it in a zip-loc bag to keep it from drying out. 

How to Freeze

You can freeze the pie crust once you shape it into the 4 inch round shape. You can still wrap it in  plastic wrap, but then place it in a quart sized freezer bag. This pie crust should last a few months in the freezer. Once you are ready to use it, remove it from the freezer the day before and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator.

Baked pie with sourdough pie crust.

Sourdough Pie Crust

This sourdough discard pie crust is the best of both worlds in terms of flakiness and flavor. It is light and fluffy but has that rich buttery taste you want from homemade pie crust.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 337 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Food Processor (or large bowl with pastry blender)
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes 1½ sticks
  • ½ cup sourdough discard 100% hydration
  • ¼ cup cold water

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour and salt 2-3 times to combine.
  • Add shortening and cubed butter. Process on medium speed until the texture is crumbly and the butter and shortening and fully incorporated into the mixture.
  • Pour the sourdough discard and water over the flour and fat mixture. Continue to process until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times. 
  • Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into approximate 4-inch rounds.
  • Wrap each round in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Chill for at least 1 hour before using.
  • When ready to use, roll out each round on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Continue to roll the dough into a round pie crust that measures 2-3 inches wider than the width of your pie plate.
  • Use as directed in your desired pie recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 294mgPotassium: 43mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 532IUCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cookies, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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