This, when made by a good French cook, is the perfection of rich light crust, and will rise in the oven from one to six inches in height, but some practice is, without doubt, necessary to accomplish this. In summer it is a great advantage to have ice at hand, and to harden the butter over it before it is used; the paste also in the intervals of rolling is improved by being laid on an oven-leaf over a. vessel containing it. Take an equal weight of good butter free from the coarse salt which is found in some, and which is disadvantageous for this paste, and of fine dry, sifted flour; to each pound of these allow the yolks of a couple of eggs, and a small teaspoonful of salt. Break a few small bits of the butter very lightly into the flour, put the salt into the centre, and pour on it sufficient water to dissolve it (we do not quite understand why the doing this should be better than mixing it with the flour, as in other pastes, but such is the method always pursued for it); add a little more water to the eggs, moisten the flour gradually, and make it into a very smooth paste, rather lithe in summer, and never exceedingly stiff, though the opposite fault, in an extreme, would render the crust unmanageable.
Press, in a soft thin cloth, all the moisture from the remainder of the butter, and form it into a ball, but in doing this be careful not to soften it too much. Should it be in an unfit state for pastry, from the heat of the weather, put it into a basin, and set the basin in a pan of water mixed with plenty of salt and saltpetre, and let it remain in a cool place for an hour if possible, before it is used. When it is ready (and the paste should never be commenced until it be so), roll the crust out square,* and of sufficient size to enclose the butter, flatten this a little upon it in the centre, and then fold the crust well over it, and roll it out thin as lightly as possible, after having dredged the board and paste-roller with a little flour: this is called giving it one turn. Then fold it in three, give it another turn, and set it aside, where it will be very cool, for a few minutes; give it two more turns in the same way, rolling it each time very lightly, but of equal thickness, and to the full length that it will reach, taking always especial care that the butter shall not break through the paste.
Let it again be set aside to become cold; and after it has been twice more rolled and folded in three, give it a half-turn, by folding it once only, and it will be ready for use.
Equal weight of the finest flour and good butter; to each pound of these, the yolks of two eggs, and a small saltspoonful of salt: 6 1/2 turns to be given to the paste.