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Puff Pastry

8 oz (225 g) hard margarine or butter
1/4 pint (150 ml) ice-cold water
tiny squeeze of lemon juice
8 oz (225 g) plain 81% flour

Make sure the butter or marge is really hard and the water is as
cold as possible. It's a good idea to put the flour in a large bowl
and chill that too, if you can; one of the secrets of success with
this pastry is to have everything, including your hands, as cold
as possible.

Cut the butter into 1/4" (6 mm) dice and put them in the bowl with
the flour. Mix lightly so that the butter gets dusted with flour,
then add the water and lemon juice and mix gently to make a loose,
lumpy dough.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured board and turn it once or
twice in a little flour, then roll it into a long oblong, using
short, firm strokes. Fold the top third of the oblong down and the
bottom up so that you have three layers [and tuck any stray bits
into the package]. Half-turn the slab of pastry to the right, so
that the folded edges are at the sides. Roll, fold, and turn the
pastry again, doing this four times in all. Put the fold of dough
into a polythene bag and chill in the coldest part of the refrigerator
for at least two hours before use. To use the dough, roll it out
to the required shape on a lightly floured board.

This keeps for a week in the fridge, and can be deep-frozen either
in a block or rolled into suitable shapes.


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