What to Do When Your Pastry Is Crumbly (Fix in 5 Simple Steps)

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You want to produce the best pie crust possible. You read the instructions, measure and combine, and everything seems to be in order.

Then, when you start to roll out the dough on your work table, it simply comes apart. The dough is no longer a well-combined lump, but rather a jumble of breaking bits.

What are you going to do?! Don’t worry, you can mend the dough!

Why Does Dough Get Crumbly?

Pastry dough gets crumbly when it becomes too dry. If there isn’t enough moisture to keep the dough together, it will crumble. It’s as simple as that!

But, it’s not quite that straightforward since there are several reasons why the dough got dry in the first place.

Knowing what caused your dough to dry out and crumble can aid in its repair and return to a pleasant smooth ball of pastry dough!

  1. Too Much Flour- Using too much flour can result in a crumbly dough. It doesn’t take much more flour to make a dough fall apart. In fact, a tablespoon or so more than the recipe asks for and the dough will be crumbling at your hands. To keep the dough from drying out, measure the flour precisely.
  2. Too Much Salt- Since salt absorbs water, it will suck up part of the water within the dough when used to produce pastry dough. If you add too much salt, it will absorb a lot of the moisture in the dough, causing it to dry out and (you guessed it!) crumble. Be careful to precisely measure the salt and not add too much (you don’t want salty pastry dough!).
  3. Inadequate Water- Once again, measurement is essential for ideal pastry dough. If you cut down on the water, the dough will be dry and crumbly. Of course, adding too much water will result in a sticky dough. Measure your components carefully, particularly the water, to prevent a crumbly and sticky dough!
  4. Old Dough- If your dough has been lying in the fridge for a long, you may discover that what was once a wonderful smooth dough is now extremely dry and crumbly. Old dough has a propensity to do this since the fridge will rapidly dry up your dough, particularly if it was not firmly packed. Crumbley dough implies dry dough!
  5. Not Fully Mixed- If you do not properly mix the dough, the gluten in the wheat that keeps the dough together will not form. The pastry will be crumbly if you do not mix it and let the gluten to firm up.
  6. Different Flour- If the recipe asked for all-purpose flour but you used whole wheat flour, your dough may be crumbly. Various varieties of flour absorb water at varying rates, and whole wheat flour absorbs water fast, drying out and crumbling your pastry dough. Always use the sort of flour specified in the recipe, or look for a recipe that uses the flour you want to use.
  7. Weather- Making pastry dough on a dry, chilly winter day will provide quite different results than preparing it on a hot, humid summer day. The amount of moisture in the air may have a significant impact on the texture of your dough. You may measure your ingredients the same way every time you bake, but your pastry will crumble much easier on a dry day.

How to Fix Crumbly Pastry Dough

After you’ve determined why your pastry is crumbly, you’ll know how to repair it. For example, if you did not sufficiently mix the dough, just mix it for a little longer to get a wonderful smooth pastry.

Yet, one approach of resolving crumbly dough that works for practically every dry dough problem is to add extra water.

You don’t want to start sprinkling water on the dough and praying for the best. Doing so will transform your crumbly pastry dough into a moist, sticky pastry dough.

Then you’d have to add more flour, followed by more water, followed by more flour. You’ll wind up with something inedible and nothing like the pastry dough you desired!

Use the following approach to add extra water to help your pastry dough bind together:

  1. Take a small dish of cold water and dip your fingers in it.
  2. Using your fingers, splatter some water over the dough, and then gently fold it together. Essentially, you should add roughly a teaspoon of water to the dough.
  3. Examine the texture to check whether it is no longer crumbly.
  4. If the pastry is still too crumbly, wet your fingertips and spritz the dough again.
  5. Re-mix lightly and evaluate.

You may remedy the issue of the pastry being too crumbly by adding a tiny bit of water at a time without ruining the dough.

Water is a potent component, and even a little amount may accomplish wonders! It may help you with crumbly dough, but it can also cause the reverse issue of moist pastry dough. The race will be won slowly but steadily!

Perfect Pastry Dough

When pastry is too crumbly, it may be irritating; all you want is a soft dough that sticks together; is that too much to ask?

Knowing why your pastry crumbled and how to repair it will cure all of your crumbly pastry issues. Once you understand why your dough crumbled, you can take corrective action the next time you bake (aka, dont leave the pastry uncovered in the fridge or try to avoid baking on really dry days).

If your pastry is still too crumbly, a splash of water will help. Remember to proceed slowly and just add a splash at a time!


How do you fix pastry that is too crumbly?

Add a bit extra water if it’s too crumbly. Don’t destroy your pastry by rolling it out after it’s come together. While rolling out dough, it’s easy to pile a lot of flour on the work area.

What happens if my dough is too crumbly?

The most apparent and simple solution is to add extra fluids. Add a liquid that you’ve previously mixed into your dough very gently, teaspoon by teaspoon. Stir after each spoonful to avoid over-saturation and sloppy dough.

Why is my pastry crumbly?

The issue is that your pastry is crumbly.

Adding too much oil and overmixing, or adding too little liquid, might result in crumbly dough. It is critical to precisely weigh the ingredients and handle the dough with care.

Does oil result in crumbly pastry?

The disadvantage of using oil is that it produces a mealy, breakable dough that is more difficult to spread out and place into a pie pan. The crust that results will be crumbly and soft, rather than flaky like crusts created with other fats.

How do you make dough stretchy again?

If your pizza dough snaps back fast or is difficult to stretch, it is too tight. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let aside for 10-15 minutes. After a short rest, the gluten in the dough will relax, making stretching considerably simpler.

How do you soften pastry in the fridge?

After chilling the pastry in the fridge, take it out when it is cold and stiff to the touch; it should not be entirely hard or it will break when rolled; it should be barely flexible. Remove from the fridge and allow at room temperature for 5 minutes before rolling if it has been cold for more than 2-3 hours.

How do you make pastry stick together?

To help seal filled pastries and unite Puff Pastry pieces, make an egg wash by combining 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water, brushing between layers, then pinching or pressing together. When applying an egg wash, avoid letting it run down the cut sides of the dough, as this can cause the edges to stay together and prevent the crust from rising.

What is crumbly pastry called?

Shortcrust pastry is a crumbly, biscuit-like French-style dough. This dough is called “short” because the flour content is frequently twice that of the fat, enabling it to break apart more readily than American-style pie dough (a closer ratio of flour to fat).

Does too little water in pastry causes the pastry to be crumbly and dry?

Use just a little quantity of cold water or beverages, such as milk. Nevertheless, too little water in dough results in a crumbly and dry crust; too much water, along with overmixing, results in a tough pastry.

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