Pate brisee (Pâte brisée)

Question. What is pate brisee?
Answer. Pate brisee is short dough or another words it is dough that contains a large amount of butter in relation to the amount of flour used in the recipe. Using the proper recipe and technique pate brisee is a flaky dough. This basic pie dough is very versatile because it can be used to make sweet (apple, blueberry, etc) or savory  (chicken pot pie, meat pie, seafood pie, etc) pies. The flakiness depends on how you manipulate the fat with the flour and the temperature of the ingredients. The size of the butter also plays a vital role to flakiness. Recipes vary from recipe to recipe, but the main ingredients are flour, butter, water and salt.

Method or technique used to make pate brisee

More info on mixing methods or techniques used in french pastry

NOTE: If you already have the recipe but don't know how to execute it, watch our videos below in order to learn correct procedure or to follow proper technique

(VIDEO DEMO without step-by-step instructions)

Common procedure used to make pate brisee

  •  Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • Rub fat into flour until a sand-like texture is achieved.
  • Add as much water as necessary to form a ball.
  • Place dough on table and smear the dough against the table (called fraisage) to ensure that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Shape dough into a rectangle and cover in plastic wrap.
  • Let rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes or over night.
  • Next day, remove dough from fridge and let thaw until it is workable.
  • Use this dough to make apple, blueberry, and other pies.
  • You may freeze the dough for up to a month. Allow to thaw over night before using it.


Over-working the dough will develop the gluten and give you a tough dough. Proper procedure must be followed.

In this lesson you will be introduced to the following terminologies;

What is fraisage

To get a better understanding of what exactly is Fraisage, watch our video below. Fraisage is the french term for the technique used to blend the ingredients just enough to form a ball, without over developing the gluten. You simply smear the dough on the workbench using the palm of your hand as shown in video;


What is sablage

Sablage is the method used to blend the butter with the flour. You want the flour to coat the butter not the other way around (which is caused by over-working the dough), which would result in a dough that does not bind very well together, and a dough that is also hard.

You must have very cold ingredients and you must also work very fast. Handle the butter as little as possible. If butter warms up too much, place bowl in freezer for 30 minutes and then continue working the dough.

The general idea of sablage is as follows;

  • dredge the chunks of butter in the flour
  • brake apart the large chunks of floured butter using your finger tips
  • smear the floured butter chunks using the palm of your hands to create a thin layer of floured butter. The idea here is the same as when making puff pastry dough. You want to have layers and layers of butter to give you flakiness.

A fine sablage will result in dough that is more crumbly and dense while a coarse sablage will give a more flaky crust.

Watch our video to get a better understanding.


More info on mixing methods or techniques used in french pastry


About our recipe tables

sample recipe table

Sample recipe table

All the recipes in our course are given by weight and percentages. The advantage of having a recipe in percentages is of extreme importance. You can alter the size of the recipe to any size you wish, and most importantly you can make recipe comparisons to notice the effects of ingredients between recipes.

apple pie using pate brisee dough

Learn how to make an apple pie using pate brisee

 Please follow this link in order to view our recipe and step-by-step video instructions on how to make pâte brisée


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