Short Dough (For Crust)

This is a very simple and versatile dough.  You can use it for cookies, or even for crusts for no-bake pies or cookie bars, I use it mostly for tarts and tartlets (fill this with pastry cream and put fresh strawberries on it and you’ve pretty much closed the deal on a date, ok maybe I exaggerate a little).

Why is it called a “short” dough?  It has to do with the texture and structure of the final product.  A short dough of any kind (think shortbread) is kind of brittle and crumbly.  It’s not chewy.  It has a high proportion of fat and sugar and little in the way of binding ingredients – like egg – to keep it intact once you bit into it.  The other thing, with this recipe, is the use of cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.  There’s a lower protein content in cake flour, so as you work it, it’s less likely to develop the gluten strands that give a loaf of bread its structure.  So the finished product is light and brittle and melts in your mouth.

Short Dough (For Crust)

By October 19, 2012

Notice that the ratio is 1:2:3, sugar, butter, and cake flour, by weight, well almost... this recipe calls for a little more sugar than most other recipes, but you can reduce it, especially if you plan to make something savoury for the filling.

There is also a little egg in the recipe, but it's not entirely necessary and it's not part of the main ratio.  If you're using, say a half pound of sugar, then you only need about 3 ounces of egg...which is about an egg and a half.

  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Yield : 1.7 Lb



1. Cream the butter and sugar in a 20 quart mixer with paddle on low speed, 8-10 minutes

2. Slowly blend in eggs and vanilla, in 3 additions.

3. Sift dry ingredients together once only.

4. Blend in dry ingredients just enough to incorporate and make a smooth dough.

5. Chill dough until firm enough to roll out. Dough can be made in advance and store in the refrigerator.

6. Pre-bake either partially, bake at 350-375°F for 15-20 minutes until firm, but no colour or fully bake depending on need.

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