I am an amateur, simple home baker. This is what worked for me. I know that I broke some rules while making this puff pastry. Therefore, I ask that you watch some videos and read some blogs of professional bakers to get the true and right way of making puff pastry. This method worked for me, however, I want you to get the best possible results.
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3-1/2 cup ice cold water (I used 1/3 cup, you may need 1/2 or even more so fix at least 1 cup)
|Toss the salt and flour. Toss the butter with the flour mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers. You will have several butter chunks and that's okay but get it worked in the best you can.|
|Pour about 1/3 cup ice water into the flour and butter mixture. Toss and press with a fork or spoon. Do this until the dough forms into a ball. Add more water as needed. If it gets too sticky, just add a bit of flour.|
|Wrap your dough ball with clear wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.|
|Place dough on a floured surface (I use a white cloth for this), form it into a rough rectangle.|
|Roll dough into a large rectangle.|
|Fold top third down, stretching the dough so it is doubled even to the corners.|
|Fold the bottom third up over the top third. Make sure there are three layers everywhere. Turn the dough like this...|
|Place dough short edge toward you and roll into a large rectangle.|
|Thanks to my daughter who grabbed the camera, here's an action shot. I really don't think you are supposed to roll the dough side to side like this but I needed to widen it a bit.|
|Fold top third down.|
|Fold bottom third up. Wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.|
You will repeat the rolling, folding, rolling, folding process after the 20 minutes in the refrigerator. After the final fold, wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
Place dough on floured surface, short edge toward you and roll into a large rectangle.
Now your dough is done. You can divide it however you wish to. Use immediately or you can wrap it and refrigerate it or freeze it. Use as your recipe directs.
For the Apple Tart...
Divide dough into 4 rectangles. Place two on a large greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper).
3 cups diced apples (I used red delicious)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of salt
1 egg, beaten
Brush the outer edges with egg.
Place half of the apples on each piece of pastry, leaving an edge around the pastry.
Cover with the reserved pieces of pastry and crimp with a fork. Cut slits in the top of the pastry. Brush tops with the egg.
Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
If desired, ice with powdered sugar and milk.