- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
- 0.6 ounces (17 grams) fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk
- 3 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 14 ounces European-style unsalted butter
In a small bowl, mix together warm water, yeast, and 2 teaspoons sugar; let stand until yeast and sugar have dissolved, about 5 minutes. Place remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar and salt in a small bowl and add warm milk; stir to combine and let stand until dissolved.
Place 3 1/2 cups flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, milk mixture, and oil. Using a rubber spatula, cut and press flour into liquid to form a sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a generously floured work surface; sprinkle dough with additional flour and let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Using floured hands and a bench scraper, knead dough by lifting the near edge and turning it over to the other side. Repeat this process until dough is smooth and begins to draw back, no more than 8 to 10 times.
Place dough in large bowl; cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on surface. Cover bowl with a second piece of plastic wrap. Let stand in a slightly warm (70 to 72 degrees) place until dough is triple in size and is light and springy when touched, 3 to 4 hours.
Loosen dough from edges of bowl with a rubber spatula or your fingers and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, push and pat dough into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle; fold dough into thirds like a letter. Return dough to bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly over dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, cover dough and transfer bowl to refrigerator; let rise overnight, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add remaining 1 tablespoon flour and beat until very smooth and well combined.
Pat dough lightly and thoroughly in bowl to deflate air bubbles. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and, using floured hands or a floured rolling pin, push, pat, or roll dough into an 11-by-16-inch rectangle. If air bubbles form on dough at any point during rolling, gently pop with a clean pushpin. Arrange dough so that one of the short ends is facing you. Spread butter mixture evenly over 2/3 of dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border all around.
Fold the bottom third of the dough up toward the center, like a letter. Fold the top third over the bottom third to cover, making three even layers of dough; square off corners. This is called turn 1. If butter becomes too soft, transfer dough to refrigerator and let chill for 1 hour.
Place dough on a lightly floured work surface with one of the short ends facing you and the top fold turned to the right-hand side, like a book. Quickly roll dough in even strokes, working from middle toward top, then middle toward bottom, into a 20-by-9-inch rectangle. Starting with the end closest to you, fold dough into thirds like a letter; you should have three even layers. Wrap dough with plastic wrap. This is called turn 2. Transfer to refrigerator; refrigerate 1 1/2 hours.
Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured work surface; sprinkle dough with flour, brushing off excess with a dry pastry brush. Using a rolling pin, tap dough lightly several times to deflate. If butter seems too cold, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and roll dough into a 20-by-9-inch rectangle, making sure that bottom and tops of dough are lightly dusted with flour so dough doesn't stick. If butter has congealed into hard flakes, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes; butter must be able to extend to the entire size of the rectangle. Fold the top and bottom portions of dough toward the center, leaving one inch between ends. Fold in half so that top half covers the bottom; you should have four even layers. This is called turn 3 and is the final turn. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours. Roll out dough as desired.