Sourdough Pie Crust

Sourdough Pie Crust, where have you been all my life? This pie crust is tender, flaky and tastes amazing. This just might become your go-to pie crust recipe. This recipe uses an entire cup of sourdough discard.

closeup shot of a pie showing the flaky sourdough pie crust

If you’re a sourdough-bread baker, you know how painful it is to throw away a whole cup of hard-earned yeasty goodness every time you need to replenish your starter. This recipe is a great way to use that discard to make an incredible pie crust.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter.

Why Sourdough Pie Crust is so good:

  • Sourdough discard does amazing things for the flavor and texture of a basic flaky pie dough.
  • Sourdough starter is acidic. Acidic ingredients tenderize gluten. Sourdough discard helps keep this pie crust tender.
  • As the crust bakes there is a tiny bit of lift from the natural yeast in the sourdough starter. I find that lift helps make the crust even flakier as the air pockets in the dough poof up a bit and separate the layers of dough.
  • Sourdough Pie Crust smells amazing as it’s baking in the oven. The yeasty, bready smell is totally tempting.


ingredients for sourdough pie crust in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour – This recipe uses a mixture of all purpose and cake flour. All purpose flour will give the dough enough structure so it can hold the flaky texture and a small proportion of cake flour will help keep it tender. In a pinch, you can use bleached AP flour and get good results.
  • Fat – I like to use a mixture of half vegetable shortening and half butter. The vegetable shortening has a higher melting point and keeps the crust from slumping as it bakes. The butter is, well, delicious! You can use all vegetable shortening for a vegan pie crust or all butter if that’s your preference. I sometimes use leaf lard in my pie crust. If you have that available you can use it in place of the shortening.
  • Sourdough Discard – This recipe was developed using a 100% hydration starter. That means the starter is fed with equal weights of starter, flour and water. You may need to adjust the amount of starter in the recipe based on the moisture level of your starter.

How to make Sourdough Pie Crust

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a bowl of flour with slices of butter scattered on top
  • Mix the fat in two stages.
  • First mix in the shortening, then toss in the slices of cold butter.
a cup of sourdough discard pouring into a bowl of pie dough mix
  • Add the sourdough discard to the flour/butter mixture.
  • There is no other water in the crust other than the water in the starter.
a spatula mixing a bowl of sourdough pie dough
  • Mix with a spatula until the dough starts to come together.
a hand mixing sourdough pie dough
  • Use your hands to gather the dough together until the all the loose flour is mixed in.
a hand holding a ball of sourdough pie dough
  • Gather the dough into a “shaggy” mass.
  • Do not knead, just gently gather the dough together.
a packet labeled sourdough pie crust
  • Wrap the dough and refrigerate for several hours or over night before rolling.
  • This will give the flour time to absorb the water in the dough.
a sheet of dough for sourdough pie crust on a work surface
  • The bits of butter and a little lift from the starter will help form the flakes.
a slice of pear pie with sourdough crust on a plate

I used Sourdough Pie Crust to make a sensational Vanilla Pear Pie and the best Chicken Pot Pie ever.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a closeup of a pie made with sourdough pie crust
Print Recipe
4.55 from 135 reviews

Sourdough Pie Crust

A Perfect Pie Crust is a thing of beauty. The addition of a little sourdough discard adds an intriguing depth of flavor to a basic pie dough.
Prep Time10 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
10 servings
Save Recipe


  • 7 ½ oz all purpose flour (1 ½ cups (see note))
  • 3 ½ oz cake flour (⅔ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 oz vegetable shortening (or leaf lard, cold)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (very cold and sliced into ¼" thin slices)
  • 8 oz sourdough discard (1 cup (100% hydration))


  • Combine 7 ½ oz all purpose flour, 3 ½ oz cake flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Whisk together to mix the ingredients evenly.
  • Using your fingers, cut 4 oz lard or shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Using your fingers, toss 4 oz unsalted butter into the flour mixture. Allow the slices of butter to break up into slightly smaller pieces into the flour. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
  • Pour 8 oz sourdough discard onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently press the dough just until it comes together. It will look a little dry in spots. The moisture will redistribute in the dough as it rests.
  • Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
I based this recipe on my starter which is fed with equal weights of starter, flour and water. You may need to adjust the amount of starter in the recipe based on the moisture level of your starter.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 853IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m SO EXCITED about this!! The kids picked 80000 apples this past weekend that are calling out to be made into your maple apple pie. One question, I see another commenter mentioned whole wheat absorbing more water. My starter is 100% hydration whole wheat…does that effect anything when using AP and cake flour in the recipe? The sourdough world is new to me !

    1. So you’ll be using a whole wheat flour discard to make this crust? That shouldn’t be a problem. I make a whole wheat pie crust and it has a nice texture. If the dough seems dry after you add the discard just sprinkle a little more water over the dough while mixing it together.

  2. Any suggestions for doing this with a wheat-free discard? My daughter loves pies and I’ve made her a wheat-free starter but it’s a lot thicker than the normal one even though I do the same ratio of ingredients. I made this recipe over the summer with the regular discard and it was so good, I wanted to use it for pumpkin pie this week, but I feel bad not letting her eat the crust (it’s my favorite part!)

    1. Hi Kim, sorry I don’t have experience with wheat free recipes. Maybe someone else can make a suggestion? Would the entire recipe have to be wheat free?

    2. @Eileen Gray, yeah, it does. It’s not gluten that’s the problem (common mix-up, you can actually have one without the other!)

      About to give it a try! We’ll see how it goes. She usually eats most things without complaining, so that’s good.

    3. It was extra crumbly so I added more water (not sure how much, a few splashes until it seemed good). I did have to mix it more though because I didn’t realize how crumbly until after I took it out of the fridge. And I had run out of shortening which is hard to get here (in the UK) so used more butter. Daughter had a taste as I was transferring her mini pies to another container and she said it was good, so it probably turned out fine. In future, I will just add some more water at the start.
      Thanks again!

  3. Hello! I’m a huge sourdough starter fan and am so happy I found your website! One of my cookbooks is a book all about bacon and one of the recipes in the cookbook calls to use clarified bacon fat to make a pie crust. I’d love to make a pie crust using both sourdough starter and bacon grease! In your opinion, do you believe replacing the vegetable shortening for clarified bacon fat (cold) could work?

  4. I’m ‘babysitting’ the sourdough starter from work and need some discard recipes to try.
    This looks simple and delicious.
    Is it possible to make without the shortening, just substitute more butter?

  5. Looks good and I’m about to try your recipe. But why perpetuate the myth that you need to discard starter? Sure there’s a period in the beginning when it makes sense not to feed the whole developing starter, but after that, there’s no reason to throw any starter away. Just keep the amounts small and then there’s no waste. Make more if you want unfed starter.

      1. Update: this was easily the absolute best pie crust I have ever made both taste-wise and because of flakiness. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. This recipe sounds great! I’m making a Savoury pie do i newsroom add the sugar or could I reduce the amount of sugar?

    1. The sugar doesn’t make the crust sweet, just helps with tenderizing and browning. I always use the sugar even for savory pies.

  7. Am I overlooking the directions for baking this crust? I don’t see a recommended time or temperature. My recipe uses a store bought crust.

    1. I don’t include baking directions here because the time and temperature will be specific to the recipe you are making. Use the time and temperature listed in the recipe, even if it uses store bought crust. The time will be shorter is you’re using an aluminum pie plate and longer if you’re using ceramic or glass. What type of pie are you making?

  8. Hi Eileen. Thanks for the recipe. I made a rhubarb pie this afternoon that we plan on having for dinner and it smells heavenly. I followed the recipe closely and wound up with a very dry dough that was difficult to roll out. So, I’ve come back to reread your directions. Just a note to anyone else trying this: pay attention to the hydration of your starter. I needed more water, which I should have added but didn’t because I failed to take my starter hydration into account (it’s 100%). I’ll know next time. Thanks again.

    1. @Robin, She says her starter is 100% so I suspect that it depends on the type of flour in the starter, eg whole wheat will absorb more compared to AP so you will have a thicker starter if using WW.

  9. Great idea. Thanks for the details.
    I have started refrigerating my starter for 1/2 week so I don’t have to feed it daily. I am wondering though of any recommendations for freezing the pie crust dough and how long it could keep that way.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response, I was on vacation. I freeze unbaked pie dough all the time. Wrapped tightly, it will last several months in the freezer.

  10. I am excited to try this recipe. One question though. The only discard I have right now has been in the refrigerator fof s while and has Hooch on top of it. I usually mix the hooch in. Do you think I could use that or would it be too acidic? My discard has been in the refrigerator for weeks.

    1. The discard is really just used as the liquid (and some flour) in this recipe. So the ripe starter would work fine unless it has an unpleasant or “off” smell/flavor. Mix in the hooch and if it smells pleasant enough then go ahead and use it.

  11. Hi! The longer I ferment my dough, the better Im able to digest wheat. I’m somewhat gluten intolerant. Could I use fed starter then let the mixed recipe sit out for awhile before the refrigerator process? Or would the unfed starter be used as per recipe and mixed recipe sit out before refrigeration. Do you think I would have the same benefit with unfed?

    1. I can’t speak to the health benefits. But I would say the best option would be to mix the dough with the discard then leave the dough in the refrigerator for a day or two before using. Just like any other pie dough, you do want to keep the fat cold so you don’t loose the flakes.

    1. It depends on how you’re using it. Bake it according to the directions of the pie you are making.

      1. I’m also curious about the bake time, i want to make a cranberry curd pie and don’t want to overbake it! It sets in 10 min at 350

        1. The bake time will depend on what type of pie you make. If you are baking an empty crust it will bake much more quickly than if it is filled with fruit. Follow the baking time for whichever recipe you are using for the filling.

  12. My sourdough starter is different. It is a potato flake starter and is more liquid than yours. How would I adapt this recipe to use it? I hate to throw it away if it can be used for other recipes!

    1. Figure out how much water is in 8 oz of starter and adjust accordingly. My 8 oz of starter includes 4 oz of water. So if your starter would have 6 oz of water maybe use a bit less than the recipe.

      1. Thank you! I just poured the starter in until I got to the desired texture. The crust was wonderful on my Tomato Tart!!

    1. Depends on the filling. If it’s something that need to cook (like a fruit filling) you can put it into the unbaked crust. If the filling is already cooked (like chicken stew for chicken pot pie) you can prebake the bottom crust.

  13. Sounds amazing & I would love to make a apple pie or a fruit pie of some kind with this recipe, however I have a important question, surprised nobody asked already , is the starter supposed to be fed or unfed and if Fed how long prior to using it to mix this crust up?

    1. When the ingredient says “sourdough discard” that means it a starter that hasn’t been fed. “Discard” means the portion of the starter that you would throw away when you need to feed the starter.

  14. Do you warm the dough after it has been refrigerated for hours? My first try was rested in the fridge overnight for 12 hours and came out like a brick. Second try, I refrigerated for 1 hour, still a brick, warmed it another hour. Still kind of a brick.

    1. I’ll often chop the dough into chunks and smush it up a bit to soften enough to roll. Just be careful not to let the butter melt or you’ll loose the flakes. Also, if you form it into a not too thick disc before refrigerating it’s a little easier to work with than if it’s a thick brick.

      1. I am so excited to try this recipe for tomorrow, and just wanted to suggest for others who might be reading comments and thinking about this for the holidays: grate the pie crust into the pie pan. Once it’s all grated, use your fingers to press it into shape in the pan. The technique has been heralded as the best way to keep the flakiness of the pie crust (as seen in New York Times Cooking), and is perfect for this, as it’s meant for cold dough. If you’re doing a two-crust pie, leave the other crust out while you grate the first into the pan, and it should be soft enough to roll out by the time you’ve finished pressing the grated crust into the pan. I’m making this this afternoon and putting into the fridge for tomorrow (I’ll let it sit for an hour out and refrigerate for 14 hours), since my sister (like the reader above) is sensitive to gluten but does very well with sourdough/fermented wheat. Thank you so much for this recipe!

        1. I haven’t tried the grating technique. My only concern would be a using your hands to press the bits into the plate might warm the dough up too much. Just be careful not to over handle the dough to the point the fat melts out.

  15. Great recipe! I used it for twee rhubarb frangipane galettes en they turned out very tasty. The dough was really flaky and good. Thanks!

      1. Making chicken pot pie for my dinner today.. Would like to know if I need to bake the bottom layer for 5 mins first

        1. If you don’t use shortening just use the same amount of butter in place of it. You can replace the 2/3 cup of cake flour with 1/2 cup of all purpose flour plus a tablespoon + a teaspoon of corn starch. If you don’t have corn starch just go ahead and use all purpose flour in place of the cake flour.

  16. I’d love to try sourdough pie crust, except I do not like to use shortening. What effect would using all butter or some oil have on the recipe?

    1. Thank you Eileen Gray… Used your recipe… I did change the amount of the shortening… Less shortening n more butter… The pastry was good…would like to know how long can I keep the left over pastry in the fridge.