To every pound of the best fresh butter allow a pound or a quart of superfine flour. Sift the flour into a deep pan, and then sift on a plate some additional flour to use for sprinkling and rolling. Wash the butter through two cold waters ; squeezing out all the salt, and whatever milk may remain in it; and then make it up with your hands into a round lump, and put it in ice till you are ready to use it. Then divide the butter into four equal parts. Cut up one of the quarters into the pan of flour; and divide the remaining three quarters into six pieces,* cutting each quarter in half. Mix with a knife the flour and butter that is in the pan, adding by degrees a very little cold water till you have made it into a lump of stiff dough. Then sprinkle some flour on the paste-board, (you should have a marble slab,) take the dough from the pan by lifting it out with the knife, lay it on the board, and flouring your rolling-pin, roll out the paste into a large thin sheet. Then with the knife, put all over it, at equal distances, one of the six pieces of butter divided into small bits. Fold up the sheet of paste, flour it, roll it out again, and add in the same manner another of the portions of butter. Repeat this process till the butter is all in. Then fold it once more, lay it on a plate, and set it in a cool place till you are ready to use it. Then divide it into as many pieces as you want sheets of paste; roll out each sheet, and put them into buttered plates or patty-pans. In using the rolling-pin, observe always to roll from you. Bake the paste in a moderate oven, but rather quick than slow. No air must be admitted to it while baking.
* Or into nine; and roll it in that number of times.
The edges of paste should always be notched before it goes into the oven. For this purpose, use a sharp penknife, dipping it frequently in flour as it becomes sticky. The notches should be even and regular. If you do them imperfectly at first, they cannot be mended by sticking on additional bits of paste; as, when baked, every patch will be doubly conspicuous. There are various ways of notching; one of the neatest is to fold over one corner of each notch; or you may arrange the notches to stand upright and lie flat, alternately, all round the edge. They should be made small and regular. You may form the edge into leaves with the little tin cutters made for the purpose.
If the above directions for puff paste are carefully followed, and if it is not spoiled in baking, it will rise to a great thickness and appear in flakes or leaves according to the number of times you have put in the butter.
It should be eaten the day it is baked.