This could also be called the “miracle crust.” Flour, salt, butter, sour cream, and a little baking soda for extra lift are all it takes to make a dough that bakes into a crisp multilayered crust.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
¼ cup cold sour cream
1. To make the pastry In an electric mixer: Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and mix them with an electric mixer on low speed until the largest of the butter pieces are the size of small lima beans, about 1 minute. The butter pieces will be different sizes and there will still be some loose flour. Add the sour cream and continue mixing until large clumps of smooth dough that pull away from the sides of the bowl form, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the beaters clean, if needed.
To make the pastry by hand: Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender, your fingertips, or 2 dinner knives to combine the flour mixture and the butter until lima bean-size pieces form. Add the sour cream and stir with a large spoon for about 2 minutes until clumps of smooth dough form.
2. Form the dough into a smooth ball, flatten it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. You will see small pieces of butter in the dough. This is good and contributes to the flaky texture. The dough is now ready to roll and use in the recipes.