Picture guide on how to make pastry dough


Don’t buy ready-made pastry dough! Unless you want puff pastry, which is rather labour intensive, you can make pastry dough easily and quickly using one finger¬†(literally!).¬†This picture guide will show you how to make dough for a short-crust type sweet pastry, to fit a 23 cm tart dish. For savoury dough, the ingredients are slightly different but the dough is mixed in exactly the same way.

sweet pie weight flour

Weight 150 g plain white flour

sweet pie weight butter

Weight 70g butter

weet pie grate butter

Cut 5mm slices through the width of the butter (I did not do it in the above picture because I thought about it afterwards!) keeping the slices as one big block and grate the block across the other side so as to produce small grated pieces of butter. Tip: Dip butter into flour regularly to prevent it from sticking.

sweet pie weight suger

sweet pie pinch larger pieces of butter

Quickly distribute the butter pieces and sugar into flour

sweet pie add water

Add water to the side of the dish (start with approx. 1/4 of a cup)

sweet pie stir one finger

Draw several circles along the side of the bowl with your index finger to mix, adding small amounts of water at the time until you see no more flour

sweet pie finished dough

All ingredients are now combined.

sweet pie push with knife

Drop the dough onto a floured surface using a knife to push it. (The dough is a little too wet here but by using lots of flour, it will not stick to the rolling pin!)

sweet pie roll to size

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to the desired size


pie fold quarter

Fold the dough into two and into two again. My dough was so fragile that I had to quickly put it into a ball again and roll once more.

sweet pie pinch out excess

Pinch out any excess dough (if sticky put more flour on your fingers)…

sweet pie add missing dough

…to fill any gaps and seal joints

I have made a small video clip summarising how to make pastry dough and mix with just one finger.