If I have a culinary Achilles heel it's baking and pie crust in particular. Yet AGAIN I tried to make a pie today with mixed results. I now will only weigh my flour to assure there isn't too much compaction but I still really struggle with how wet my dough should be. Today I used the America's Test Kitchen recipe that called for 12.5 oz of flour 1/4 c. cold vodka and 1/4 c. cold water. After a quick stir with a fork I found the dough to be too dry and added another tbs of cold water. Looked pretty good (or so I thought) so I divided and began to wrap in plastic. But once wrapped I could see cracks in the dough and just didn't have the confidence that while chilling the moisture content would dissipate and bring the dough together, my last pie crust looked the same and it never came together after chilling - I had to add water before it could be rolled out.. So I put the dough back in the bowl and added more cold water. When I went to roll out the dough I had some overly wet spots and the edges were still a bit shaggy.
How can I tell when my crust is wet enough?
Does anyone have a feel for how much extra water is typically needed in desert climates?
Any tips you'd suggest?