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How to Save Your Overworked Pie Dough

Making dough by female hands at bakery.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

The phrase “easy as pie” is a bit ironic since pie is actually a fairly tricky baked good to get right, especially the crust. It’s extremely easy to mess up your pie dough, either by kneading it too much or not enough. While under-kneaded dough can be fixed pretty easily, you’re out of luck if you overwork your pie dough, right?

Thankfully this doesn’t have to be the case, as there’s a surprisingly simple fix to overworked pie dough– add some acidity.

Pie dough that’s over-kneaded becomes a tough crust when baked, nothing like the light, flaky texture you want for your pie crust. Adding some acidity will break down, lighten, and soften too-tough dough, and even add some extra flavor to the crust to boot.

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You don’t need to add too much of the acidic ingredient to soft your overworked dough– a single splash is all you should need. Any sort of citrus juice, vinegar, or even wine will do the trick.

Since the acidic ingredient will add a bit of extra flavor to your dough, you can be strategic about which ingredient will pair best with the pie itself. A splash of lime or lemon juice will probably compliment a lemon meringue pie extremely well, for instance.

Adding some acidity can be a useful preventative measure before you knead the dough too. This is especially useful if you plan to make your pie dough a few days before actually baking it, as the acidity will help prevent it from oxidizing.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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