Butter

How to Use Butter with Dry Ingredients

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How to “Cut” Butter into Dry Ingredients

Pie crusts, pastries, scones and biscuit dough generally use this technique. Measure cold butter, cut it into small cubes (about the size of your little finger tip or according to the recipe directions) and return it to the fridge for at least 15 minutes to make sure it is well chilled. Chill the bowl you’ll use for mixing, too. Combine the dry ingredients in the chilled bowl then sprinkle the cubes of butter over top. Use a pastry blender (also called a pastry cutter) with an up and down motion or two dinner knives with one in each hand, cutting in opposite directions, repeating until the butter is in tiny pieces or until the butter and flour mixture clumps together in tiny pieces and the mixture resembles coarse meal (some recipes will call for fine meal or for the butter to only be cut into small pieces). Using cold butter and coating the dry ingredients in this way creates flaky layers in the pastry or dough.

How to “Rub” Butter into Dry Ingredients

Measure cold butter, cut it into small cubes (about the size of your little finger tip or according to the recipe directions) and return it to the fridge for at least 15 minutes to make sure it is well chilled. Chill the bowl you’ll use for mixing, too. Combine the dry ingredients in the chilled bowl. Rub the cubes of cold butter through a coarsely textured sieve letting them fall on top of the dry ingredients. Then use a fork to quickly combine the butter and flour mixture.

  • Some recipes will specify to use your fingers to rub in the butter. Use just your finger-tips (not your warm hands) and quick motions, pinching your fingers to mash the small pieces of butter into the dry ingredients until moist crumbs form. This is often used for streusel or crumble toppings.

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