Pies take a star turn on the Thanksgiving table, and there’s nothing worse than doing all the work only to destroy the dough when you roll it out and transfer it to the pie plate. Preparation and knowledge—as well as practice—are the secrets to rolling out pie dough that’s of an even thickness throughout and won’t tear when you work with it.
First, always work with well-chilled pastry; otherwise, the dough will stick to the counter and tear. Second, never roll out dough by rolling back and forth over the same section; each time you press on the same spot, more gluten develops that can toughen the dough.
PROBLEM: Dough sticks to counter.
AVOIDING IT: Start with very cold dough, work as quickly as possible, and make sure to lift and turn dough as you roll.
SOLVING IT: Add more flour to counter each time you lift dough to turn it; add more to top of dough as necessary. If dough still sticks, transfer to rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
PROBLEM: Dough is not round.
AVOIDING IT: Start with dough formed into a flat, even disk and check often as you roll.
SOLVING IT: Use your hands or bench scraper to push in dough and round out circle.