- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room
temperature, plus 4 sticks cold
- 1 cup water
Using a rolling pin, beat the cold butter between sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough into a round about 11 inches in diameter. Remove the paper from the rectangle of butter, place the butter in the center of the dough round, and fold the edges of the dough over the butter to enclose completely. Tap the dough with the rolling pin to ensure that it adheres to the butter.
Using the rolling pin and flouring the work surface and pin often but lightly, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 20 inches long by 7 inches wide. Take care to apply pressure evenly and not to squeeze the butter from the dough. Keep the ends as square as possible. Fold the pastry into thirds by folding it toward you and then back over itself.
Firmly gripping the folded rectangle, rotate it 90 degrees so that the seam is on your left. Roll out the dough into a rectangle of the same size and again fold it into thirds. You have now completed 2 "turns." Dust the dough with flour and cover with plastic wrap or with parchment paper and a kitchen towel, tucking the ends in well so that they do not dehydrate. Let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and repeat the rolling and folding to complete 2 more turns. Again, wrap the dough and return to the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour. Repeat the process one more time, again completing 2 turns.
Once you have completed 6 turns, the pastry dough is ready to use. It may be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to 3 days. The pastry may be frozen; ideally, for best results, it should be frozen after 4 turns, and the final 2 turns completed after thawing. To freeze the pastry, wrap airtight in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 day to thaw, then remove and bring to room temperature before rolling.