Quick Puff Pastry
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup cold water
Cut 1 cup (2 sticks) butter into 1/4-inch cubes. Place in an even layer on a plate and transfer to refrigerator to chill.
Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter into thin slices and add to bowl. Rub in the butter, squeezing it with your fingertips, rubbing the butter and flour mixture between the palms of your hands and reaching down to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat process until flour and butter are evenly mixed; this should only take a couple of minutes and the mixture should remain cool and powdery. Alternatively, pulse flour, salt, and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in the bowl of a food processor until no visible pieces of butter remain; transfer to a large bowl.
Add chilled butter cubes to bowl and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into flour mixture.
Reserving 2 tablespoons of the cold water, pour remaining water into bowl. Using a spatula, fold water into flour mixture, scraping from the bottom of the bowl upward. If the mixture still has a lot of dry, unmoistened flour, add reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, repeating folding process.
Scrape dough from bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour dough and, using your hands, squeeze and shape dough into a cylinder. Press down to flatten into a rectangle.
Starting at the narrow end furthest away from you, use a rolling pin to press the dough firmly in parallel strokes close to one another. If there are sticky pieces of butter on the surface, cover with a large pinch of flour and press with the rolling pin to combine. Clean off the rolling pin as you go to make sure nothing sticks to the dough. Continue pressing with the rolling pin, working toward the narrow end closest to you.
Press the dough once along the width; it should now be a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Flour under and on top of the dough and roll dough away and back toward you in the length and once in the width, without rolling over the ends, to make a rectangle about 18 inches long and 8 inches wide.
Fold the two 8-inch ends in toward the middle of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch space in the middle. Fold the bottom up to the top to form 4 layers of dough. Turn the dough so that the folded edge, which should resemble the spine on a book, is on your left.
Repeat rolling and folding process (steps 6, 7, and 8) two more times. Wrap dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 3 days, before using.