The Simple Fridge Trick To Rescue Overly Wet Pastry Dough

Making — or, rather, perfecting — homemade pastries is all about the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Sometimes, however, those ratios get a little skewed, and you're left with a dough that's too dry or too wet. Luckily, the latter conundrum can be resolved with a little refrigeration.

If you added too much liquid and your dough has become overly sticky and hard to work with, getting it back to the right temperature can counteract those problems and set you up for a pastry that isn't doomed to be soggy. That's right; All you have to do is pop your too-wet dough in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours. At that point, your pastry should be good to go — or, at least, better than it was. 

As for why this trick works so well? The proof is in the texture. 

Dry out pastry dough in the refrigerator to revive its texture

We already know that chilling pie dough is essential for preserving the pastry's butter content, but there are other reasons it is a key step. Namely, refrigeration can help solidify your pastry and redeem its texture by hardening the fat in your dough and by allowing the gluten to settle. The cool temperature not only consolidates the liquid ingredients so your crust can come together cohesively and maintain its structure when it comes time to roll it out but also reduces the risk of shrinkage during cooking.

So, if you go overboard on moist additions like water, oil, and butter, you don't have to throw out your hard work. Instead, let the fridge offer an easy way to bounce back and salvage your wet pastry dough for what are sure to be moist and structurally sound pie crusts or layered croissants.