Short Crust Dough


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Preparation info

  • Makes about

    1½ pounds

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

In European kitchens, this dough is memorized by most cooks. They use it when they need a sweet, crumbly butter dough for cookies or tarts. In the metric system, it’s easy to recall. In fact, some people call it “3-2-1 dough” because it consists of three parts flour, two parts butter, and one part sugar (here, 300, 200, and 100 grams) with an egg or a bit of water to hold it together. Be sure to keep the butter cool while working it into the flour. If it softens (Viennese call this “burning the butter”), the crust will not be crisp.


  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 14 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled
  • 1 large egg, beaten


Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using a fork, stir in the egg and mix well until the dough is moistened and holds together when pressed between your fingers. If necessary, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to moisten the dough. Gather up the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

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