When it comes to pie crusts, there are a ton of options, and I’ve tried just about all of them. All in the name research, of course.

Wickedly tender vinegar-infused pie crusts, rich cream-cheese pie crusts, even the classic sweet French pâte sablée.

Still, none was the soulmate for a pie chockful of sweet apple filling and drizzled with deeply rich caramel. I needed something buttery with nutty undertones to stand up to the sweet, spiced filling. That’s how I ended up with this whole wheat pie crust recipe.

It’s sturdy enough to hold a small mountain of apples yet still amazingly flaky. And the flavor is distinctly nutty without being overwhelming. If that isn’t convincing enough, it rolls out like a dream.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

The ease of rolling and the texture and flavor that whole wheat adds to the dough are just a couple of reasons our testers adored this whole wheat pie crust recipe.

A copper bowl with clumps of whole wheat pie crust dough tumbling out.

Notes on Ingredients

Ingredients for whole wheat pie crust--whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, a stick of butter, water, and sugar.
  • Whole wheat flour–Using whole grain flour adds some nuttiness and texture to the pie crust.
  • All-purpose flour–Combining all-purpose flour with whole wheat helps to balance the flavor of the dough and adds strength to it.
  • Butter–This gives the finished crust its crisp, flaky texture.

How to Make This Recipe

A food processor with dry ingredients; same food processor with butter added.
  1. Pulse the flours, sugar, and salt together in a food processor.
  2. Add the butter to the food processor.
A food processor with flour and butter that has been pulsed into crumbs; water being poured into a bowl of whole wheat pie dough.
  1. Pulse until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand with a few pea-sized lumps of butter remaining.
  2. Dump the dough mixture into a bowl and drizzle the water over it.
A man's hand mixing water into a bowl of whole wheat pie crust dough; the same bowl fully mixed.
  1. Use a fork to stir the dough, thoroughly combining the dry and wet parts of the mixture.
  2. Continue working the dough until it begins to form large clumps.
  3. Divide the dough into two piles and shape each into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

Savory Whole-Wheat Pie Crust Variation

Considering using this pie crust for a chicken pot pie, Thanksgiving hand pies, or maybe this elegant French beef-stew pie? I say, “Huzzah, huzzah!” To adjust the recipe to work for savory dishes, simply omit the sugar and add a tablespoon or two of finely minced fresh herbs. My favorite combo is fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Or you can let the dish dictate the herbs to use. The possibilities are endless.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this pie crust in advance?

Yes. The pie dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance or frozen for up to 2 months before using. Keep the dough tightly wrapped in plastic until ready to use.

What’s the easiest way to roll out a pie crust?

There are a few tricks to rolling out your pie dough with ease. First, make sure your dough is cool but not too cold. Letting it sit on the counter for a few minutes before rolling will help.

Always roll from the center outward. This allows you to roll the dough evenly. After each roll, give your dough a quarter turn to create an evenly shaped circle.

For more detailed tips on rolling pie dough, see this article on how to roll a pie crust.

What’s the difference between whole wheat flour and white whole wheat flour?

They’re both types of whole-grain flour and can be used interchangeably, but they have different flavors. Whole-wheat flour is made with a red wheat grain, which has a nutty flavor. White whole-wheat flour, on the other hand, is made with a white wheat grain that is lighter in color, giving it an appearance and flavor closer to white flour.

Helpful Tips

  • Keep your ingredients cold. Cold butter and cold water will help give the pie crust a flaky texture.
  • Only add enough water to just bring the dough together. Too much water will result in an overly sticky dough, and too little water will make the dough crumbly and difficult to roll.
  • The tightly wrapped dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out.
A pile of pie dough on a marble tabletop.

More Flaky Pie Crust Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Two disks of whole wheat pie crust dough stacked one on top of the other.

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

5 / 2 votes
This buttery whole wheat pie dough is made with whole wheat and all-purpose flour, lending it a nutty flavor and making it perfect for both sweet and savory pies.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings1 double crust
Calories2376 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Chill Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Instructions 

  • Pulse the flours, sugar, and salt in a food processor.
  • Scatter the cold butter cubes over the flour and pulse until the mixture is the texture of course sand with a few pieces the size of peas.
  • Dump the mixture into a large bowl and drizzle over 4 tablespoons of the ice water. Stir the mixture with a fork or spatula, making sure to scoop up from the bottom until the dough begins to form clumps. If the dough doesn’t come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Dump the dough onto the work surface, divide it into two piles (one slightly larger than the other), and flatten each into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Pull the disks from the fridge 10 minutes before rolling so the dough warms slightly and is easier to roll.

Notes

  1. Use cold ingredients–Using cold butter and cold water will help to give the pie crust a flaky texture.
  2. Add just enough water–Only add enough water to just bring the dough together. Too much water will result in an overly sticky dough and too little water will make the dough crumbly and difficult to roll.
  3. Storage–The tightly wrapped dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 crustCalories: 2376 kcalCarbohydrates: 251 gProtein: 37 gFat: 142 gSaturated Fat: 87 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 36 gTrans Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 361 mgSodium: 1191 mgPotassium: 753 mgFiber: 20 gSugar: 25 gVitamin A: 4215 IUCalcium: 118 mgIron: 13 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

None of the elements in this pie crust overwhelms the others and you really can taste the difference in flavor/texture the whole wheat flour brings to the crust. It rolls and shapes with ease, making it a dream whether it’s your first or hundredth time making pie.




About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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