Bill Yosses has had quite the career, including being the former White House executive pastry chef to now running the pastry department of The Four Seasons Restaurant. So needless to say, he knows a thing or two about desserts.
When it comes to baking, Yosses is a trusted source for how to make a good pie crust. Though it includes only four simple ingredients, a flaky pie crust comes down to technique as well as experience in order to get it right. Yosses shares that one thing to keep in mind is that flour varies in its level of humidity, so the amount of water required varies depending on the ability of the flour to absorb it. It takes a bit of practice to know what the proper hydration level is, but it's always better to add too little than to add to much—you can always add more if it's not coming together during the kneading process.
Ready to bake a pie?
Pie CrustRecipe courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City
Yield: dough for a double-crust 9-inch pie
350 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
230 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-size cubes
5 grams salt
80 to 150 grams cold water
1. Add the flour, butter and salt to a food processor and pulse briefly. Add some of the cold water and pulse for only a few seconds in the food processor to combine. It should look quite dry and uneven, but if it's extremely dry you can add more water.
2. Remove the dough onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead the dough to bring it together somewhat but leave it uneven. Fold it over onto itself several times to combine.
3. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a disk about 1-inch thick; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before assembling your pie.