This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound pastry flour
(The usual proportions are a pound of flour to a pound of shortening.)
If salted butter is used, wash it to remove the salt. To do this, wash the hands in water as hot as possible, rinse in cold water and knead the butter in ice-water in a scalded bowl until all the salt is drawn from it. At first the butter will crumble but when free from salt it will cling and mass together. Pat and fold till dry and in a compact mass. Reserve two tablespoons of it and put the rest in the refrigerator till needed.
Work the two tablespoons of shortening into the flour with the tips of the fingers. Moisten carefully with ice-water, and turn the dough out on a slightly floured board. Pat it smooth and divide into halves. Roll out each half to the same size and thickness. Over one sheet sprinkle a little flour. Take the remaining shortening from the refrigerator and make into a sausage-like roll, dredge with flour and roll out very thin as nearly like the sheets of dough in shape as possible. Flour the board and rolling-pin so that shortening will not adhere. Place the shortening between the two sheets of dough and roll as thin as possible without allowing the fat to break through. When the sheet becomes thin, fold in the sides until they meet, turn one-half way about and roll out. Fold and roll in this way twice and place in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes. Repeat rolling and cooling until dough has been rolled and cooled four times. If not needed for immediate use, it may be wrapped in a towel and left in the refrigerator from twelve to twenty-four hours and will be even lighter and more flaky than when freshly made.
Puff paste may be made without cooling, but it is lighter and rises better when the above directions are followed. The layers in puff paste are made by folding and rolling, incorporating air which, expanding with the heat, makes the paste rise.
An important factor in the making of puff paste is to have the oven at the proper temperature. The paste should be very cold when put into the oven, and the oven should be very hot, about 500° F. (cooled later to 450° F. or lower).
For Patty Shells, the oven should have a strong underheat, allowing them to rise to their full height before browning. If the oven is too hot, so that the paste begins to brown as soon as put in, immediately reduce the temperature.
To Glaze Puff Paste - When a brown, polished finish is desired, the pastry is brushed with egg mixed with one tablespoon of cold water to each egg. The egg must not be beaten until frothy, but merely enough to make it mix with the water. Where gloss but no color is desired, the white of the egg alone may be used; the yolk gives the yellowish brown tinge.