½ pound butter ½ teaspoon salt
½ pound flour ¼ to ½ cup ice-water
The secret of making good puff-paste is to have all the ingredients cold. Use a marble slab if possible and avoid making the paste on a warm, damp day. It should be made in a cool place, as it is necessary to keep the paste cold during the whole time of preparation. The recipe makes two pies or four crusts.
Cut off one third of the butter and put the remaining two thirds in a bowl of ice-water. Divide this into four equal parts; pat each into a thin sheet and set them away on ice. Mix and sift the flour and salt; rub the reserved butter into it and make as stiff as possible with ice-water. Dust the slab with flour; turn the paste upon it; knead for one minute; then stand on ice for five minutes. Roll the cold paste into a rectangular sheet about one third of an inch thick; place the cold butter in the center and fold the paste over it, first from the sides and then the ends, keeping the shape square and folding so that the butter is completely encased and cannot escape through any cracks as it is rolled. Roll out to one fourth inch thickness, keeping the rectangular shape and folding as before, but without butter. Continue rolling and folding, enclosing a sheet of butter at every alternate folding until all four sheets are used. Then turn the folded side down and roll in one direction into a long narrow strip, keeping the edges as straight as possible. Fold the paste over, making three even layers. Then roll again and fold as before. Repeat the process until the dough has had six turns. Cut into the desired shapes and place on the ice for twenty minutes or longer before putting in the oven.
If during the making the paste sticks to the board or pin, remove it immediately and stand on the ice until thoroughly chilled. Scrape the board clean; rub with a dry cloth and dust with fresh flour before trying again. Use as little flour as possible in rolling, but use enough to keep the paste dry. Roll with a light, even, long stroke in every direction, but never work the rolling pin back and forth as that movement toughens the paste and breaks the bubbles of air.
The baking of puff-paste is almost as important as the rolling, and the oven must be very hot, with the greatest heat at the bottom, so that the paste will rise before it browns. If the paste should begin to scorch, open the draughts at once and cool the temperature by placing a pan of ice-water in the oven.
½ pound flour Ice-water
2 ounces lard 4 ounces butter
Pinch of salt
Sift the flour and salt; cut into it the lard; mix to a dough with cold water. Flour the pastry slab or pie board; turn out the paste; roll half an inch thick; sprinkle lightly with flour and roll again. Lay on the butter; fold the crust over; roll as before; dust with flour; fold and roll again. Repeat the process once more; set in a cool place for half an hour or longer; give another roll and the paste is read.; for use. It should make four single crusts.