Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough

“That’s the ultimate recipe!”  Those were the words of my son when he realized I was using this gluten-free pastry dough recipe to make several delicious foods.  I’ll show you one of them here, but more ideas will be coming.  Here’s a teaser:

Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough at Gluten-Free Homemaker
This is not a typical pastry dough.  For one, it’s gluten free, and you have to accept the fact that gluten-free pastry doesn’t act like gluten filled pastry.  You can’t produce (at least not that I know of) a pastry dough that is both flaky and flexible.  My gluten-free pie crust works well as a bottom crust for pie, but not as a top crust.  It would fall apart.

This recipe is not flaky like the pie crust recipe.  It uses melted butter rather than chunks of cold butter typically used in pastry dough.  However, it is smooth, flexible and pretty easy to work with.  It’s really quite fun to have a ball of gluten-free dough that you can press, squeeze, roll, cut, fill, and fold.  Give it a try and get creative.

I originally made this recipe using 8 tablespoons of butter.  I was able to cut it back to 6 tablespoons and have it turn out well, but it does turn out a little more dry.  Depending on what you’re making you can use either amount and adjust the amount of milk.

Pastry Dough Collage

5.0 from 1 reviews
Multi-Purpose Pastry Dough
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup millet flour
  • ¼ cup sweet rice flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 6-8 Tablespoons butter, melted (or 8 Tablespoons Spectrum organic shortening)
  • ¼ cup + 1 – 2 Tablespoons milk or milk substitute (or ¼ cup only if using 8 Tablespoons butter/shortening)
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Using a fork, beat together the milk and egg.
  3. Add the milk mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork. It will look crumbly, but everything should be wet. If needed, add a little more milk.
  4. Now use your hands to form the dough into a ball and work it a little until it is smooth. The dough is now ready to be rolled out or can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
  5. Roll the dough out on a silicone mat, pastry mat or piece of parchment paper. Use a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough to keep it smooth.
  6. Experiment with thickness. Rolling it very thin makes it more likely to break when folding or transferring. About 1/16 – ⅛ of an inch works well.
  7. The things I’ve made with this have been baked at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

I promised to show you one way I used this dough.  It won’t thrill many of you, but if you have kids, they’ll like it.

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket
I made these as a snack the other day when my son had a friend over.  On his way out, the boy grabbed another one and told his mom he loved them!  She said she’d have to get the recipe.  They’re not gluten-free eaters.

I used Hebrew National beef franks and cut them into halves or thirds.  I then cut the dough into rectangular strips and rolled up the hot dog pieces like this:

Pigs in a Blanket 2

Place them on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes. Time depends on the thickness of the dough.

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  1. Jenn says

    love it! I currently use cream cheese in mine instead of egg/milk to "glue" it together… I will have to try your version and compare! Though we don't have hot dogs here….I will have to make "brats in a blanket" – haha it really is a funny name!

  2. Tasty Eats At Home says

    Linda – you are such a genius when it comes to gluten-free baking! This looks great. Definitely going to try it out!

  3. adventuresofaglutenfreemom says


    These look GREAT!! Have you tried subbing some of the butter with shortening to see if that helps to add "flakiness?"

    I just bought a Calzone mold yesterday (I am severely "pastry challenged") that I think I will use your recipe to test-drive it, thanks for sharing!

    BTW, I just bought a 4-pack of 2-lb. bags of Arrowhead Mills Millet Flour on Amazon's Subscribe and Save for about $13 with free shipping!

  4. Heather @CeliacFamily says

    This looks great. I can think of all kinds of great foods to make with this.

  5. Chelsey says

    I have been struggling with gluten free pastry dough! This will save my life :) It looks as though it rolls out nice and is not overly sticky (almost like non GF pastry dough?!). I'm going to have to give your recipe a try. Thanks!

  6. The Whalen Family says

    You are my HERO! I can not wait to make these and see the other brillant things you come up with! My 3yo LOVES ravioli, and I have yet to find a great blend for the patry…WOO HOO! I am so thankful I found your blog!

  7. gfe--gluten free easily says

    Okay, Linda, you might have me rolling dough again with this recipe! 😉 Pigs in a blanket … always a fun party food. I want to make them just so Son can enjoy them. I'll try subbing cornstarch for potato starch (I can eat potatoes, but don't do well with potato starch in mixes usually), but I have the other ingredients. :-)


  8. Cinde says

    My kids will love the pigs in a blanket! Thanks for the versatile dough recipe Linda… I can't wait to try it.


  9. Linda says

    Adventures of a GF Mom ~ No, I haven't tried shortening. I generally don't like using it. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  10. The Gluten-free 'Dish' says

    Looks great, Linda! I laugh because I have been working on a dough for years and never thought to use gelatin. My pigs in a blanket might be happier now!

  11. Aubree Cherie says

    Hi Linda,

    I'm really excited about this recipe! I haven't attempted anything with pastry yet because, well… it scared me. But your recipe looks very doable for me!

    I'm also now driven by the photo of pigs in a blanket… an old "pre-gluten free" addition.

    Can't wait to try it!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  12. Anonymous says

    Hi this looks great. R.E substitution, what would you recommend instead of sweet rice flour we cannot get if freely in the U.K.



  13. Linda says

    Anonymous ~ Try increasing the brown rice flour, and if you think of it, let me know how it works.

  14. Yadi says

    Thank you for posting this Linda. I used it to make some spanish pastries I have been missing so much! Oh, I also substituted the sweet rice flour for potato starch because the sweet rice flour is so expensive and I didn't have any on hand… It worked out great. Thanks so much for all of your recipes. I use them ALL the time! I don't know what I would do without your baking recipes!

  15. Pat says

    The more I use this, the more I like it! The last time I even substituted some olive oil for part of the butter — not all of it, just part, because that was all the butter I had left! It worked well, though. Made a wonderful, tasty crust! Thanks!

  16. Anonymous says

    I just purchased a new product by KING ARTHUR FLOUR, GLUTEN FREE MILTI PURPOSE FLOUR. I have a chicken pot pie, waiting to go in the oven I baked a small sample of the pastry before I bake the pie . firmer that regular pastry,I used, YOU CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BUTTER, and it is delicious.

  17. Ilus says

    Can´t find millet flour in Cancun. I have some sorghum but is my last cup. Do you think I could use more brown rice instead? and the starches: is it possible to sub cornbread instead of potato??

  18. Linda says

    Ilus ~ I've not tried the recipe with those substitutions so I can't say for sure, but I think brown rice flour and corn starch would be reasonable substitutes. (Assuming you mean corn starch and not cornbread.) :)

  19. Tiffany says

    I've made this dough twice now and I can't get it to roll out easily. It gets flakey when I roll and it and won't stay together very well when I try to work with it. It seems like it's not wet enough but both times I've added extra flour. Could it be too wet?

  20. Linda says

    My guess would be too that it's not wet enough. Does it hold together when you press it into a ball? It could also have to do with the actual rolling. Are you using a piece of plastic wrap on top when you roll it? If not, try that. Feel free to send me an email about it. glutenfreehomemaker (at) gmail (dot) com.

  21. Vivacious says

    I'm sensitive to the sweet rice flours and potato starch. Anyone have some good alternatives or substitutes?

  22. Linda says

    Vivacious ~ I would try additional brown or white rice flour in place of sweet rice, and corn starch or tapioca starch in place of the potato starch.

  23. Anonymous says

    Are you supposed to dissolve the gelatin in the milk mixture prior to mixing? If not, what purpose does the gelatin serve?

  24. Linda says

    The gelatin becomes wet enough when you mix in the milk, egg, and butter. Gelatin acts as a binder like gums do to replace gluten, and it adds protein.

  25. Kacie M says

    This looks great Linda: thank you so much for posting it! Do you think this dough would work well for empanadas or would that require a flakier dough?

  26. Jen says

    Could I use xanthan gum in place of the gelatin? Or is there a special reason for it? Thanks for posting, I’m trying to make pierogi. I think I’ll just try to leave out the sugar?

    • says

      Jen, no I would not replace it with xanthan gum. Gelatin acts as an additional binder and ads moisture. I haven’t tried this recipe without it, but it might work okay.

  27. Tiffany says

    In my earlier post I meant to say that the dough doesn’t seem wet enough but that I added extra milk, not flour. Sorry, you were probably confused. Anyway, I took your advice with the parchment paper and it worked beautifully! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Betty says

      I know I have to add a lot more milk to get it so it will roll. I’m sure it all depends on humidity and brands of flours. Great dough!

  28. Kristin says

    I can’t wait to try this out this weekend!

    Do you know if it can be made in bulk batches?

    • says

      Kristin. I have not made it in bulk. I would try doubling the recipe to start and see how that works. Let me know how it goes!

  29. Betty says

    I’ve made this a lot and once even forgot the brown rice flour (had to add a lot more millet and couldn’t figure out why) but it still was great.
    I make Samosa’s (basically ground beef with seasoning, mashed potatoes and peas) with it as my kids love those. Search on for it.
    They are deep fried so not the healthiest but oh so good and freeze well. You can then eat them cold for a road trip snack.
    Next up using this to make Cornish Pasties, meat filled pastries. Haven’t tried baking this yet so can’t wait to have one more thing they’ve been missing.

  30. Joy says

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy. I have a recipe for a tea ring that my family has made every christmas for as long as I can remember. It calls for 3 and 1/3 cups flour. It also requires yeast – and has to rise. Do you know if there is a gluten free flour I can use instead that might work well? I was thinking of just using your combination of flours in this recipe and also the xanthan gum and just following the rest of my recipe. Any thoughts? Thank you so much! I will be using your recipe during the holidays I am sure!!

    • says

      Your best bet is probably to buy a gluten-free flour mix such as Pamela’s baking and pancake mix or Jules’ Gluten Free flour mix. If the flour mix does not include xanthan gum, then be sure to add some. I don’t have any experience with making tea rings so I can’t give you much help. You should probably give it a try ahead of time. Gluten-free baking can be tricky. :)

  31. Angelica says

    I was just wondering why does it take several times of flours to make a gluten free item, versus just using one type if flour that is gluten free. Sorry trying to learn how bake gluten free for my husband?

    • says

      Hi Angelica. There’s simply not a single flour that is a good replacement for wheat flour. Different gluten-free flours have their own properties that contribute to making a good final product. Starches are added to help lighten the flour among other things. If you go to this page and scroll down to where it says “Gluten Free Flour” you will find links to a few posts that might be helpful for you.

  32. Erika says

    Hi Linda! I have been using this recipe for two years now. I use it to make GF Calzone’s for my son. Now since he’s moved out I make them, freeze them and send him care packages! -Erika

  33. Venus says

    Hello Linda,
    Thank you for this post we are just starting our gluten free journey. I was wondering what the purpose of the xanthan gum was? Is it absolutely necessary? Thank you

    • says

      Xanthan gum acts as a binder, which is what gluten does. Many gf baked goods will fall apart and crumble without xanthan or guar gum, though it depends on the flours used. In this case, it really helps to make the dough workable. I’m afraid it is necessary.

  34. Theresa says

    Are there substitutes for eggs and millet for those that are allergic?
    Can I substitute almond milk for dairy milk?


      • Theresa says

        Thanks Linda! I’m also allergic to sorghum and will have to search for other options. The egg in this recipe is being used as a binder and I have a substitution chart for eggs when they are used as binders vs leveners. I’ll have to play with the options to see what will work best.

  35. Lori says

    Hi Linda,

    I just tried this dough out for pigs in a blanket and it turned out great. I subbed additional brown rice flour for the sweet rice flour (didn’t have any). I was amazed how well the dough came together. I had a question for you – if I were to make a large batch of pigs in a blanket, or pizza pockets, should I freeze them before or after baking them?

    Thanks again.

  36. Catherine says

    This sounds like a great recipe. I can’t with to try it. Will it work for egg rolls? I would love to know what other ways you have used this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us all,

  37. Jenny says

    I cannont praise this recipe enough, it is my go to pastry recipe and I have made it so so so many times.

    Its the most amazing feeling to have a pastry that you can work with just like regular pastry, this is the only pastry my glutle free son will eat and even the crust.

    Love love love your recipes and they work every time. Thanks so much

    • says

      You’re welcome, Jenny! It’s encouraging to read comments like yours, and I appreciate you taking the time to let me know how well this recipe works for you.

If you have a question about a recipe (especially substitutions and nutritional information), please read my FAQ page before asking the question in a comment.

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