In the bowl of an electric mixer
fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, water, and melted butter on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute. Work quickly and do not overwork the dough. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, form it into a rough rectangle, enclose the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, put the remaining 14 ounces of butter between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin, turning as necessary, until softened. The butter should be malleable but not too soft. Set aside in a cool place the butter will later be spread on the dough as you start the folding process.
Place the refrigerated dough on a well floured work surface and dust
the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin
, push down on the dough to start flattening it, and then roll it into a 20 by 30 by 10-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick, with the long sides running from left to right. (It might feel that you're rolling sideways, and well, you are.) Carefully brush off any excess flour from the dough. Starting on the right side, and leaving a 1 inch border, slap and spread on the butter, using your fingers, over two-thirds of the rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds; starting with the left side, fold at the butter line as if closing a book, and then fold the right side up and over the top layer. You should end up with a stack of 3 thick layers of dough, each separated from the next by a layer of butter.
As you prepare to make the first turn of the dough, keep in mind the importance of rolling the butter evenly along the length and width of the rectangle as you roll the dough. Adjust the pressure on the rolling pin as necessary, rolling harder or more evenly, to achieve a smoother, even, dough-enclosed butter sandwich. To begin your first turn, turn the dough 90 degrees on your work surface so the closed fold is at the top and, rolling lengthwise, roll It into a 20 by 10-inch rectangle. Brush off any excess flour and fold into thirds as above, starting with the left side and ending with the right. At this point, you have finished one turn. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so the closed fold is at the top, and repeat the rolling and folding process. The second turn is complete. After the second turn, or any time the dough is too soft to work with, transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is chilled and relaxed. Each time the dough is refrigerated, make an indentation in the dough with your fingertip for each turn completed. Repeat this rolling and folding process, rolling out the dough lengthwise every time, for more times for a total of 6 turns. After the sixth turn, let the dough rest a good hour in the refrigerator.
Store the dough, as is, well wrapped in plastic wrap
. The dough can be kept refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 10 days. If frozen, thaw the dough, still wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator before using.
Yield: 3 pounds of dough
Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours
Ease of preparation: expert