Why It Works
- Xanthan gum helps bind the dough, so it's easier to handle and shape.
- A blitz-style ratio of dry ingredients to butter creates a dough that's pliable and rich.
- One round of folding provides eight major layers with minimal fuss.
- Refrigerating the dough ensures the butter is cold, preserving its flakes in the oven.
This buttery dough bakes up tender and golden brown—perfect for all your favorite pies. The trick is xanthan gum, which adds strength and elasticity to the dough. Just take your time and work in stages, and your patience will be rewarded with a dough that's flaky, crisp, and beautiful to behold.
- 4 ounces white rice flour (3/4 cup; 113g)
- 2 1/2 ounces cornstarch (1/2 cup; 70g), plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 ounces tapioca flour (1/3 cup; 42g)
- 1 ounce coconut flour (1/4 cup; 28g)
- 1/2 ounce sugar (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (5g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks; 225g), cold
- 4 ounces cold water (1/2 cup; 115g)
For the Dough: Whisk white rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum together in a medium bowl. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with flour mixture to break up the pieces. With your fingertips, smash each cube into a thin sheet—that's it! Stir in water, then knead dough against the sides of the bowl until it comes together in a shaggy ball.
Make the Layers: On a very generously dusted work surface, gently roll dough into a roughly 10- by 15-inch rectangle, sprinkling more cornstarch above and below to prevent sticking. Don't be shy! Fold the 10-inch sides to the center, then close the newly formed packet like a book. Fold in half once more, bringing the short sides together to create a thick block. The dough will crack along the creases, but that's just fine. Divide in half with a sharp knife or bench scraper. If dough is very soft or if you are working in a hot kitchen, refrigerate for 15 minutes before continuing.
For Single-Crusted Pies: Using as much cornstarch as needed, gently roll one piece into a 12-inch circle. Slide an offset spatula underneath it to loosen, then divide into quarters. Transfer to the pie plate one at a time, folding the top edge of each piece over to create a thick border that sits atop the rim of the pan. Press and pinch dough together along the seams to form a unified whole. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Use as directed in your favorite recipe.
For a Double-Crusted Pie: Shape one piece of dough according to the directions above. For a solid top crust, roll remaining dough the same way, or roll into a 9- by 15-inch rectangle for a lattice-top pie. Divide into manageable pieces and transfer to a baking sheet or parchment-lined cutting board. (The parchment will prevent dough from absorbing any savory odors from the board.) Wrap both portions in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Use as directed in your favorite recipe.
Rolling pin, 9-inch pie plate (preferably tempered glass; see note), pastry brush
Compared to stoneware or heavy enameled ceramic, tempered-glass pie plates conduct heat quickly and evenly, so the crust bakes up light and crisp, never greasy or soft.