STEP 1: Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can do this by hand, which is the method I used for a long time until I realized how much quicker it is when using the mixer. My favorite tool when I make this by hand is a bench scraper. It’s how I keep the dough together and how I cut up the cubes of cold butter.
Add all the butter to the bowl at once and mix for 30 seconds on low speed. You want the butter to just start to break up and incorporate into the flour. Add the cold water and mix for 15 seconds.
This mix will not look like much of a dough and you may be cursing me for having got you into this mess but I assure you when you pull the puffed piece of dough out of the oven I will be your best friend.
STEP 2: Roughly shape the crumbly “dough” into a rectangle. Fold over the right third of the dough to the center. It will likely fall apart through the first three turns, when it does simply use your hands to press the dough back together. Fold the left two-thirds over the dough and turn 90* so the dough. This was your first turn.
STEP 3: Using the palm of your hands push the dough back to a flattened rectangle and repeat the process two more times for a total of three turns. If at any point you feel the butter getting soft or the dough becomes too tough to work with just place it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
After three turns, place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. You can leave the dough at this state overnight if time is an issue, just let rest on the counter for 10 minutes to remove the chill from the butter slightly before starting the turning process again.
STEP 4: Once rested continue with three more turns. After this first rest the water will have hydrated much of the flour and it should resemble a dough. This is when I start to use the rolling pin rather than my hands to work with the dough.
Let rest again for 30 minutes.
At this point your dough is ready to use.
Most often recipes call for a sheet of puff pastry. Roll out your dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut to any size that the recipe calls for.