What's The Purpose Of A Dough Docker?

Pie is an American staple. According to the American Pie Council, $700 million worth of cream, fruit, custard, and nut pies are purchased at grocery stores each year. But not every pie is store bought. Many people like baking their own. And even though the American Pie Council revealed the majority of people think their mom makes the best pie, that shouldn't stop you from trying to make your own.

However, when it comes to making this dessert, one of the most important parts is the crust. There are a lot of decisions to be made when making a homemade pie crust from scratch — and a lot of information to process. Will it be for a fruity apple pie that needs a golden, flaky crust or will it be for a decadent peanut butter that requires a mealy crust? Regardless, getting the crust right is imperative. 

Per Food52, you will want to start with cold ingredients, the right formula of flour, salt, butter, and cold water, and you will want to use your hands to do the mixing. And of course, you will need to have the right baking tools on hand, which may or may not include a dough docker.

The dough docker makes pin-sized holes

What is a dough docker and why do you need one? According to King Arthur Baking Company, a dough docker looks a little like a prehistoric weapon or a rolling pin with some little spikes. It may even give you a miniature rolling rake vibe. A dough docker is used to make pin-sized holes in dough, similar to the ones you see in crackers like everyone's favorite saltines. But a dough docker is also used to make holes in the bottom of your uncooked pie crust. However, King Arthur Baking explains that if you don't own one, you shouldn't worry; A fork can accomplish the same task.

Why dock your dough in the first place? The Washington Post explains making these little pricks in your dough allows steam to be released as it bakes. This in turn keeps your crust level and flush in your pie tin. What happens if you don't dock your dough? You will get some bubbling in your crust that could impede how much pie filling it can hold, and no one wants that. 

When do you need to dock your dough? The Washington Post says you would never dock your dough if you have a double-crusted pie, but docking is essential for a single crust or when you need to pre-bake the crust.