Ingredients: One pound of flour, three-quarters of a pound of butter, yolks of two eggs, a little salt, a sprinkle of sugar, a little very cold (or, better, ice-cold) water. (All the professional cooks use a pound of butter to a pound of flour. I think it makes the pastry too rich, and prefer three-quarters of a pound of butter to a pound of flour.)
Sift and weigh the flour, and put it on the board or marble slab; sprinkle a little salt and a very little sugar over it. Beat the yolks of the eggs, and then stir into them a few spoonfuls of ice-cold water; pour this slowly into the centre of the flour with the left hand, working it at the same time well into the mass with the tips of the fingers of the right hand. Continue to work it, turning the fingers round and round on the board, until you have a well-worked, smooth, and firm paste. Now roll it out into a rectangular form, being particular to have the edges quite straight. Much of success depends upon the even folding of the paste. Work the butter (which should be kept some minutes in very cold water if it is at all soft) until the moisture and salt are wiped out, and it is quite supple; care must be taken, however, to keep the butter from getting too soft, as in this condition it would ruin the paste. Divide it into three equal parts; spread one part as flatly and evenly as possible over half of the crust, turn the other half over it, folding it a second time from right to left. Roll this out to the same rectangular form as before; spread the second portion of the butter on half of the crust; fold and roll it out again as before, repeating the same process with the third portion of butter. The paste has now been given what they call three turns; it should be given six turns, turning and rolling the paste after the butter is in. However, after the first three turns, or after the butter is all in, the paste should be placed on the ice, or in a cold place, to remain about ten or fifteen minutes between each of the last three turns: this will prevent the butter getting soft enough to penetrate the dough. Each time before the dough is folded, it should be turned half round, so as to roll it in a different direction each time; this makes the layers more even. In order to turn the paste, the end may be held to the rolling-pin; then, rolling the pin, the dough will fold loose-ly around it; the board may be sprinkled with flour; then the dough can be unrolled in the side direction. This is better than to turn it with the hands, as it should be handled as little as possible. When folded the last time, put the paste on a platter, cover, and place it on the ice for half an hour, or where it may become thoroughly chilled; then roll it out for immediate use; or, so long as it is kept in a half-frozen state, it may be kept for one or two days. Firm, solid butter should be selected for puff paste; a light, crumbling butter would be very unsuitable. After the pies, patties, or other articles are made (as in receipts), the scraps may be used for making rissoles. Always select the coolest place possible for making puff paste. In winter it is well to make it by an open window.