Cuisinart Dough Blade

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We’ve had a Cuisinart food processor for years, and I’ve been using the standard blade for making pie dough for quite awhile with fairly decent results (I usually make an all-butter, 50% whole wheat dough, so it just can’t compete for texture with lard/shortening all-white-flour crusts). For some reason, we never really paid much attention to the “Dough” button on the device, and had all but forgotten about the dull “dough blade” that came with the food processor.

I wanted to bake a couple of pies last week for a party, so I decided to give it a try. Never again. The dough didn’t mix properly, and I ended up with large patches of too-moist mixed with large patches of completely dry dough. It was bad enough that I reverted to the standard blade for my second batch, despite some small hope that things might improve after setting up in the fridge for a few hours. As you can see from the bowl on the left in the photo, it didn’t help — the dough fell apart into too-wet and too-dry chunks as soon as I tried to break off a chunk to roll out. Because I needed both batches of dough for two covered pies, I ended up “rescuing” the bad batch by adding a little water and re-processing it in the food processor, mixing it into the good batch. Needless to say the additional processing resulted in crusts were not the best I’ve made (still pretty tasty, though), and I will be hiding the dough blade somewhere so I can’t find it and make the same mistake again.

For those who are interested in the recipe, it’s a modification of a double-batch version of the basic pie crust recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pound cold butter
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cups ice water, as needed

Add the flours and salt into the food processor, along with the butter, cut into rough chunks. Pulse until the butter is integrated (but not completely pulverized) and then slowly drizzle the ice water in through the top of the food processor as it is running. The dough should be fairly dry, but stick together if you try to shape it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least an hour to hydrate or it will crumble to pieces when you try to roll it out.

9 thoughts on “Cuisinart Dough Blade

  1. Chef E

    I too use a 50/50 organic flour (cook mostly with organic and natural) and just do it by hand. My hubby brought that darn processor home from storage, and I cannot bring myself to use it…nice post and like it when others share learning experiences, so Thanks!

    LOL, word verification is rescue 🙂


    I make my pie dough with oat flour, sometimes all, sometimes half. I use my food processor all the time — but I don’t have that funky other blade. I feel so jipped right now!! LOL! I love extra gadgets! Thank you for sharing this!! I have to go find the box in storage now to make sure.

  3. Baker Bee

    I’m pretty sure that the dough settings (and blade) are only available on some of the larger/higher-end models.

    I also want to make sure that you didn’t miss the point of my post — that “funky other blade” is completely useless and produces horrible pie dough. Although it might work better for making a dough where you want gluten development, I’d much rather toss that kind of dough into my kitchenaid with its wonderful spiral dough hook.

  4. mm

    Pie dough is a terrible idea for the dough blade. The dough blade is designed to knead bread doughs and develop gluten quickly, and the last thing you want in a pie dough is a lot of gluten– that will tend to make pie doughs have the consistency of hard tack.

    If you’re baking bread or pizza, or even making pasta, the dough blade is probably a safe bet (the pros use a big stand mixer and a special beater). But avoid it for things like pies and (Southern-style) biscuits, and similar baked things where you “cut” solid fat into the dry mixture.

    1. Chris Post author

      MM, that’s partly what this post was about. It would never occur to me to use a food processor for any kind of dough other than pie dough (after all, that’s what the spiral blade on my big Kitchenaid is for), so I assumed that the “dough blade” might work better than the standard blade.

      Unfortunately, the Cuisinart’s dough blade is just intended to make the device slightly more useful to people who don’t also own a stand mixer (which are actually getting pretty good at replicating the results from professional-grade spiral dough mixers).

  5. Dimitri

    FYI according to Cuisinart’s instructions, the dough blade is meant for yeast-based doughs, while they recommend using the regular chopper blade for pastry dough.

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