My quarantine hobby has been making dough- pizza, pasta, pie…

I’ve never been particularly good at baking- I think it’s too exact, and I am not the most exacting cook- I use recipes more as guidelines than anything else.

But baking- dough especially- has been my nemesis…

I wanted to make it my ally…

Let’s discuss my journey into pie crust…

How exactly do you cut the butter into the floor?

I use a food processor…

Is this cheating? Should you do this step by hand?

What about rolling out the dough?

I am especially bad at rolling out dough. I just can’t get it right. So I bought a silicone pie rolling bag. It has a zipper- you put the dough in the middle of the bag and then you can roll it out to the proper size…

When my daughter saw this she called it cheating- she said that I should just suck it up and use the counter…

But as she wasn’t the one trying to make pie crust, I told her to ^%$# off…

I told her that apparently I wasn’t the only one who had this issue with pie crust- enough people have problems with this task that multiple products were developed to help with it.

Do you consider using gadgets to be cheating, or do you think these are just devices made to make certain tasks just a little bit easier?:

86 thoughts on “Cheating?

    1. You know, I live on three and sometimes people do give me grief. One woman actually said it would be better if I took the stairs. Of course I asked her if I would get a discount for living on a lower floor because I shouldn’t be using an amenity….so…you know…people…

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  1. To me cheating is buying the ready made crust with a can of pie filling. If your daughter doesn’t like that you are ‘cheating’ she doesn’t have to eat the pie. LOL. Nothing annoys me more than people who tell me how to do things but don’t want to help. 😂 I say this because I have been baking this week and I’m not much for baking either. Good luck! 😀

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  2. I’m usually loosey goosey with recipes, but as you have discovered, pastry is unforgiving.

    As to your question about using the food processor – is it cheating? Well no, of course not. Anything that improves the results and/or your enjoyment of the task is a good thing.

    The problem, though, with pastry making is heat. And over-handling. So I am told. I am a lousy pie crust maker. I buy the ready made pies or crusts. Now, that’s cheating.

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  3. Is it cheating for your daughter to use a calculator to solve a math or economics problem? Perhaps she should use a slide-rule, an abacus, or rely on her fingers and toes. As humans progress–whether in science, math, cooking, or law–using the latest technology or workaround is not only acceptable, it’s smart … and often leads to more advances.

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    1. Yeah…if I hide her computer how’s she doing her essays that she painstakingly fixes. I was thinking that the other day…she rewrote an entire section of a paper in minutes because using a computer makes it so easy. Can you imagine retyping a fifteen page paper because you wanted to include a paragraph?

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  4. I recently watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen and they used a food processor. So, I think that can’t really be cheating. Does anyone who eats a pie stop and ask “Did you cheat?” I think NOT! Pie dough is tricky, flaky, and even when you use the same recipe year in year out it might just not be spectacular. So don’t be so hard on yourself and do what makes you happy. If your daughter is soooo about the cheating thing let her do two pie crusts one with and without cool tools and see how she does. 😂 pie anyone? Yummy.

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  5. I’m at the stage where I feel anything that gets the job done is fine. I do like cooking in the traditional way, but I like the time gadgets save. So sometimes it’s this way, sometimes that.

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  6. I love to bake and usually make my dough from scratch although I will admit in a time crunch I have used a ready made crust, not as good but it may only be me that notices. I use my hands or a pastry blender, it is easier for me to control and the though of getting out my food processor is exhausting. Rolling out dough can be tricky and believe it or not I find that the weather can affect it. I have quartz counter tops so that helps. When I had my first apartment I used a marble coffee table because it always stuck on the laminate. There is no such thing as cheating. You are making food for your family they need to suck it up or do it themselves! LOL

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  7. I’m all for making my life easier. I use a food processor for my pie crust, in part because that is how the recipe said to make it, but also because it is astoundingly easy. In a way, saying that it is cheating is saying that any new invention for the kitchen is cheating, but it really isn’t. It is just being smart. I’m kind of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of cook on the majority of what I make, though I do follow strict recipes for some things. One of the things that I’ve decided is a must in my kitchen is a scale just so I can get that kind of precise.

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  8. For years I thought of using gadgets as cheating, but then I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer. I have never kneaded dough by hand again. I now make more breads because of the convenience, lack of mess and same result. In the long run this has to be healthier so I justify it that way. Well, because I seem to have to justify everything for what ever odd reason!! So no!! You are not cheating!!!!!

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  9. My mom was a home-ec major and a great pie baker. She taught me to use a pastry cutter and it worked well. Her best pies were wild blackberry that we’d pick from the berry brambles in Washington state. As an adult, I visited Mom and she had baked her famous blackberry pie for me. I commented that it was better than ever. She showed me her new secret — Pillsbury Pie Dough from the fridge. At that point on, that’s my secret, too.

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    1. No way!! I once watched an Alton brown show where he argued that if you wanted a solid yellow cake just use a boxed mix because he couldn’t imagine making from scratch would be worth it


    1. I’ve considered buying a mini. I made a pork shoulder the other day that required two heads of garlic minced, and I used the small blender thing, but a mini food processor would have been better

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  10. Man, why am I still using a pastry blender by hand?! Food processor here I come! 😁

    Seriously, though, if you’re making it from scratch, the tools are not cheating. I like cutting in the fat by hand for the exercise. I use plastic wrap for rolling out pie dough, but that’s wasteful – I need one of those silicone thingies.

    I baked the easiest bread recipe in the world this week and I swear it turned out better than all the fancy recipes I’ve tried. Is it cheating?

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  11. If that’s cheating, then so is using a washer and dryer. Your daughter can wash all her clothes by and and hang them out to dry 🙂

    I buy already made pies. That might be cheating. Or maybe not … I’m not sure 🙂

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  12. A GREAT question, LA. First, I cook a lot, and, well, bake, often enough. Now, when you are cooking and baking from scratch, meaning, no premade crusts and doughs, then, I say, by all means use the gadgets that have been developed to assist in the process. That’s my take anyway. Have a lovely holiday. 🙂

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  13. Dough is hard work! Therefore, anything designed to make that work simpler is helpful, not a cheat.
    However, the more dough you make,the better you’ll get, and the less you’ll need the assistance.
    Bake on, my friend! ❤️

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  14. I buy ready made pastry because I’m lazy, I buy ready prepared onions because my fingers are stiff and I no longer bake bread because my arthritis plays up. I would rather cheat and be happy. So to everyone who call sus cheats, let us raise our arthritic fingers…

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