Flaky Pastry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

For the best crust, use one of the following: King Arthur’s Italian-style; Arrowhead’s wholewheat pastry flour; White Lily unbleached all-purpose flour.


  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely crushed fennel or anise seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) sifted pastry or all-purpose flour


  1. Grate the frozen butter in a food processor. Add the sugar, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt and pulse 4 or 5 times. Add the egg and pulse 2 to 3 times to combine.
  2. Add the flour and pulse until crumbly, 3 or 4 times. Dump into a plastic bag, seal, and press the mixture to form a dough, adding 1 tablespoon water if necessary. Chill for 1 hour; form into a flattened round. Wrap up and chill overnight. The pastry can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 weeks.