Usually, the first thought is to use a fork. A fork will work, BUT the chance of a beginner making the dough tough is pretty high. If a fork is your first choice, be sure to not overwork the dough.
It would be better to use something simple like two table knives and literally “cut” the fat in. The other option might be a whisk, because the wires are thin like the pastry blender and will cut the fat into the flour.
The trick to pastry dough is to handle it as little as possible, and to use ice-cold liquid. I recommend refrigerating your dough before rolling it out.
A few random tips to try would be to add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to the flour, and to use a tablespoon or so of vodka instead of some of the water. The vodka helps to make rolling easy, but the alcohol evaporate so the crust is still flaky.
If you have any more questions contact:
Barbara George, CFCS
Family & Consumer Sciences