Puff Pastry

1 cup Cold Water
1 lb Chilled Unsalted Butter, divided into four 1/4 lb sticks
3 cups Sifted All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Salt

*** Place measured water in refrigerator about 30 minutes to chill. Place each 1/4 lb stick of butter on a piece of wax paper. With a thin-blamed knife, which has been dipped into flour, cut each stick of butter into 3 lengthwise slices. Immediately place separated butter slices in refrigerator to keep them well chilled. Sift flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Using a table fork, gradually stir the chilled water into the flour mixture. Mixture will appear crumbly. Turn pastry out onto a floured pastry cloth and knead until it is satiny smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and let rest on the pastry cloth at room temperature for 15 minutes. Divide pastry into 2 equal parts. Knead each half 2 or 3 times to form a smooth ball. Using a stockinette-covered rolling pin, roll one half of the pastry into a rectangle approximately 16x6 inches. As the pastry will be very elastic, use the hands to help stretch it to the proper size. Place 6 butter slices across one of the 6-inch sides to cover half of the rectangle. Fold the remaining half of the pastry over the butter and seal all the open edges by pressing firmly with the fingertips. This forms an 8x6-inch rectangle. Place rectangle on a cookie sheet; chill 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining pastry and butter to form a second rectangle. Working with one chilled rectangle at a time on a floured pastry cloth, lb the pastry gently with the rolling pin to flatten the butter and form a rectangle approximately 12x6 inches. Then roll pastry to a 16x6 inch rectangle. Fold one third of the pastry toward the center; fold opposite third over the first fold to form 3 layers. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes with the seam side down. Repeat with the other half of chilled pastry. After chilling, (working with one rectangle at a time), place pastry on a floured pastry cloth, keeping the seam up and to the right of you. Roll out pastry into a 16x6 rectangle. Fold pastry in thirds again as in step above; wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Repeat with other half of pastry. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling steps with each rectangle 5 more times. Before shaping pastry after the last rolling, chill several hours or overnight. Well-wrapped pastry may be kept refrigerated for several days or in the freezer for about 6 weeks. Thaw pastry several hours or overnight before using.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana