Video: How to Braid Pie Crust

I shared the July 2018 Baking Challenge recipe this past week: apple hand pies. While we have pie crust on our brains this month, let me teach you a really fun way to decorate your next full-sized pie.

Braiding pie dough is my favorite way to design a pie crust, but I’ll admit that it took some practice to master the craft. Today I’m sharing all my tips and tricks so you can skip my mistakes and begin braiding pie crust like a champion right away. After reading this post and watching my tutorial, I guarantee pretty pies in your future!

How to braid pie crust video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you know how to braid hair, you know how to braid pie crust. I’m using my favorite pie as the model for showing you how to braid pie crust: salted caramel apple pie. The best best best pie!!

How to Braid Pie Crust

  1. Start with quality pie dough that’s sturdy, strong, and tastes good! Don’t sabotage your efforts with sub-par dough. I recommend my homemade pie crust. This crust, prepared with a mix of butter and shortening, holds its shape beautifully. Remember to use cold fats. In the summer months, I even suggest beginning with cold flour. Stick the bowl of flour + salt in the freezer for 30 minutes before adding the fats. Read more here. If you’re looking for an all-butter pie dough, here is an all-butter pie crust I love. It yields 3 9-inch pie crusts, so you’ll have plenty of dough to work with!
  2. Roll out the pie dough on parchment paper. When rolling out pie dough, go slow. Always start from the center and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. If the edges are cracking, smooth them out with your fingers and hands. (You can watch me roll out pie dough in this video.) I recommend parchment paper because you can easily lift up the parchment, place it on a baking sheet, and stick the rolled out dough in the refrigerator. Warm or room temperature pie dough is impossible to braid. It must be cold.
  3. Use a pizza cutter to cut into thin strips. The thinner the strips, the more likely they are to tear. The thicker the strips, the more messy the braids appear. I suggest no thinner than 1/4 inch and no thicker than 1/2 inch. Somewhere between the two is your sweet spot.
  4. Take 3 strips aside. Pinch/meld the tops together. Begin braiding. (If you don’t know how to braid, watch my video or find a close-up hair braiding video tutorial!)
  5. Use the braided strips as decoration for your pie. Watch me make a lattice design in the video below!

Tips for Braiding Success

  • Keep all of the pie dough you aren’t directly working with in the refrigerator. This is why I recommend rolling out the pie dough on parchment paper so you can easily lift up the parchment, place it on a baking sheet, and stick the whole thing in the refrigerator. Warm or room temperature pie dough is impossible to braid. It must be cold. This was worth repeating!
  • Braiding uses a lot of pie dough, so for a lattice design like you see in these pictures and video, have a 3rd pie crust handy. I used about 2 and 1/2 crusts. 1 for the bottom and 1 and 1/2 crusts for the top decoration.
  • Always pick up the braids with two hands– they’re fragile.
  • Keep flour on hand to lightly dust the work surface and your hands.
  • If a strip tears as you’re braiding, just mold it back together with your fingers.
  • Give yourself lots of room to work.

How to lattice pie crust video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to braid pie crust video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

As I always suggest, finish the unbaked pie with a brush of egg wash and a sprinkle of sparkling sugar for added crunch. Need some pie recipe inspiration?

Some of my Favorite Pies

And here’s a post I dedicated to different pie crust designs including step-by-step instructions for creating a lattice pie crust. Now go decorate pie like a pro!

How to braid pie crust video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Q: What’s your favorite way to decorate a pie?

25 Comments

Comments

  1. Amy on July 6, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Sally,
    You mention using your pie dough recipe that using both shortening and butter. Is your all butter crust sturdy and strong enough?

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Hi Amy! Yes, it should be. Let me add that to the post just in case others are wondering the same thing.

  2. Julie G on July 6, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Do you make the same amount of dough as you would for a double crust pie, one for the bottom and one for the top? I’m curious if you need more dough when braiding. The pie is beautiful!

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Hey Julie! Thank you so much. This is in my “tips” section above, but it’s worth repeating here too. Braiding uses a lot of pie dough, so for a lattice design like you see in these pictures and video, have a 3rd pie crust handy. I used about 2 and 1/2 crusts. 1 for the bottom and 1 and 1/2 crusts for the top decoration.

  3. Angela on July 6, 2018 at 8:06 am

    This is a friggin work of art! Now that I’ve mastered pie dough and successfully pulled off not one, but TWO American Flag pies this week, I think I’m ready for this. The hard part won’t be making dough or braiding, it will be deciding on which flavor!!

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      You can absolutely do this!! Let me know how it goes 🙂 Happy braiding!

  4. Dawn on July 6, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Beautiful! As always, thanks for these amazing tips that help us all grow as home bakers!

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      You are so very welcome! It’s such a joy to share what I learn 🙂

  5. Paige Cassandra Flamm on July 6, 2018 at 10:07 am

    This pie is beautiful!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you!

  6. Joanne on July 6, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Hi Sally. What a beautiful pie! When I click on the video link I get a message that reads “page doesn’t exist.” Not sure if that’s on my side or yours, but I’d love to see the video!

    Thanks for all the inspiration. My colleagues and I all talk about your recipes and anyone listening would think you were a part of our circle of friends. You make a big difference in the world. Thank you.

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Joanne! The video should be working – try again and let me know if you’re still having trouble 🙂 Happy baking and braiding this weekend!

  7. Laila Johnson on July 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Hey Sally! I’m very excited to try this and the video was very helpful. Also, I was wondering: What is your favorite fruit to use in pies.

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Apple pies are my favorite!!

  8. Aniko on July 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Sally! I love this, I think I’m going to be brave enough to try it this weekend! Could I braid all the pieces the night before but bake the pie the morning after? Should the braids be on the pie or on parchment paper overnight?

    • Sally on July 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Hi Aniko! Yes, the braids can be assembled and refrigerated overnight on parchment paper. No need to cover, but you can if you’d like. Be extra careful with them because they’ll be a little stiff after that long in the fridge.

  9. Charlotte Moore on July 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    This is so pretty. I just can’t get the hang of the lattice. I have watched and it just seems so hard to me.

  10. Blogtastic Food on July 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Omg wow that looks so good. Thanks for sharing, learning to do this would be great for my food photography (:

  11. Laura | The Kiwi Country Girl on July 6, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Such a well timed post! I had a pie crust in the fridge destined for apple pie and this totally inspired me! It’s in the oven now, looking gorgeous! Thanks Sally 🙂

    • Sally on July 9, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Yay!! I hope you enjoyed your apple pie with braided crust this weekend.

  12. Karen Anderson on July 7, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Beautiful pie, Sally1

    • Sally on July 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Thanks Karen!

  13. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite on July 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Literally the most creative and beautiful pie crust I’ve ever seen! Love the tutorial 🙂

    • Sally on July 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Thank you so much!

  14. Destiny on July 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I could not upload the video today. It said page does not exist. I wanted to let you know about it.

Reviews

Questions

  1. Amy on July 6, 2018 at 4:52 am

    Sally,
    You mention using your pie dough recipe that using both shortening and butter. Is your all butter crust sturdy and strong enough?

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Hi Amy! Yes, it should be. Let me add that to the post just in case others are wondering the same thing.

  2. Julie G on July 6, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Do you make the same amount of dough as you would for a double crust pie, one for the bottom and one for the top? I’m curious if you need more dough when braiding. The pie is beautiful!

    • Sally on July 6, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Hey Julie! Thank you so much. This is in my “tips” section above, but it’s worth repeating here too. Braiding uses a lot of pie dough, so for a lattice design like you see in these pictures and video, have a 3rd pie crust handy. I used about 2 and 1/2 crusts. 1 for the bottom and 1 and 1/2 crusts for the top decoration.

  3. Aniko on July 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Sally! I love this, I think I’m going to be brave enough to try it this weekend! Could I braid all the pieces the night before but bake the pie the morning after? Should the braids be on the pie or on parchment paper overnight?

    • Sally on July 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Hi Aniko! Yes, the braids can be assembled and refrigerated overnight on parchment paper. No need to cover, but you can if you’d like. Be extra careful with them because they’ll be a little stiff after that long in the fridge.

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