Hot Water Pastry Dough

hot water crust, dough, pastry

Hot water crust is pretty yummy.  It’s flaky, crisp and crunchy while at the same time, it’s crumbly and somewhat flaky.  It’s a bit more dense than the usual tender and soft pie doughs.  This dough is typically used to make dough for recipes requiring a sturdy crust – like savory meat pies, chicken pot pie or quiche.  For recipes like that, you need a sturdy dough that will hold its ingredients – but not one that is tough and difficult to consume.  This recipe creates a really good shortbread-like crust.

Every other dough I make calls for cold ingredients – – cold butter, cold water, etc.  Not this one.  The liquid ingredients in this pastry recipe need to be hot.  The heat ensures even distribution of the fats in this pastry, giving it its flaky goodness.  The fat also gives it a sturdy consistency which is important when making pies that are filled to the brim with heavy, sometimes, wet ingredients.  Using hot ingredients in this crust, like the melted butter and shortening combined with milk and water, allow for a higher amount of liquid to be used in this crust because when it is cooked, the liquid evaporates and leaves a crispy, strong crust that will stand up to whatever filling you choose to put into it.

You do have to use this crust when it is still warm, though.  So make sure that whatever recipe you are making with it – you have all of your fillings and ingredients ready to fill.  Making this dough should be the last thing you do before you shape, fill and cook your creation.  The cooler this dough gets, the hard it is to manipulate and shape.  When it gets cool, it is not pliable and begins to crumble.  Instead of bending and folding nicely into a pie pan or muffin tin, it will break and crumble all over the place – so be sure to roll it out and shape it when it’s still warm.  Take care when mixing and kneading the dough, as well – the longer you mix and knead – the cooler it gets.

You start by heating/melting the liquid ingredients and pouring it into the sifted flour while it is still hot.  Because of the heat, and because I don’t want to mix it and cool it too much – I do this by hand by piling the sifted flour on my flat counter top.

Hot Water Pastry Recipe
You’re allowed to make a mess!

Then I create a small crater in the center of the flour.

Hot Water Pastry Recipe
Create a small crater in the center.

As you may have guessed, pour the hot liquid in the crater.

Hot Water Dough Recipe
Pour the liquid in the crater.

I use a [easyazon_link identifier=”B000SSZ4Q4″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”lswbakes-20″ cart=”n” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”n”]pastry scraper[/easyazon_link] to mix the dough because the hot liquid is a bit too much for my sensitive hands.  Start by knocking the flour off the top, into the center and make sure the liquid is mixed with some of the flour before you start to turn it over so you don’t end up with hot water, milk, butter and shortening running all over your counter and onto the floor.  If that sounds like a piece of advice from someone who’s been there?  You would be correct!

Hot Water Pastry Recipe
Mix until it forms a dough

When I took the photos for this recipe entry, I was making an english pork pie – so I seasoned the dough with salt and pepper, that is why you see small black bits in the pastry.  The nice thing about this dough is that it adopts flavors extremely well, so it can be seasoned with a whole lot of things to compliment your recipe.

It is easier to roll the dough out between two sheets of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00K282KY4″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”lswbakes-20″ cart=”n” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”n”]parchment paper[/easyazon_link] – this way, you don’t have to add additional flour to it and it doesn’t stick to your roller!  I also use a [easyazon_link identifier=”B01FTV3R6I” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”lswbakes-20″ cart=”n” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”n”]silicon baking mat[/easyazon_link] that has measurements printed on it so I can keep an eye on how big it gets.  You don’t roll this as a thin dough (like you would for a pie or other pastry recipes) – you should roll it so that it’s about 1/4 inch thick.   As I stated above, roll the pastry out when it is still warm – – cut it and then shape it into whatever mold you’re using for your recipe, quickly, so it doesn’t lose its heat.


Hot Water Pastry Crust

Made with hot water, this pastry turns out flaky and tender that results in a delicious shortbread-like crust.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch double crust pie (or a dozen mine pies) 1x


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Combine butter, shortening, water and milk in a small pan and heat over a low flame until butter and shortening are melted.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl, or onto a flat surface.
  3. Add optional seasonings (if I were making a savory meat pie, I would add salt and pepper to this step)
  4. Pour warm liquid mixture into the flour.
  5. Mix together until mixture forms a dough.
  6. Knead for a few minutes until smooth.
  7. Roll out and shape pastry right away – the cooler this dough gets, the more difficult it is to shape.

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