This is not the true puff pastry which rises dramatically in the oven. It is far easier to make, is very light and flaky – and it does rise a little. Demonstrated at the 2011 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Sift the butter and salt into a large bowl and cut the butter into 1cm lumps, dropping it into the flour as you go. Toss the lumps well to coat them.
Pour in the lemon juice and the water and mix to a rough dough with a knife, then your fingertips. The lumps of butter will be plainly visible in the pebbly mix. Turn the dough onto a floured board and shape into a rectangular brick.
With a short side of the rectangle facing you, take a clean, floured rolling pin and begin rolling the pastry out using short jerky strokes and extend out into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Try to keep the sides straight and the corners square.
Mark the dough across into three equal sections, and fold up the lower third and push the edges gently with your rolling pin to seal them. Now fold the top third down over the lower part and seal again on all sides.
Give the dough a quarter turn so that the bottom edge is now on your right and a short side is again facing you. This is one ‘turn’.
Repeat the rolling, folding and turning, 3 or 4 more times, using short movements and lifting the rolling pin frequently. Keep the board and the rolling pin lightly floured. After the fourth turn there should be no visible streaks of butter.
If the weather is warm and the pastry seems difficult to handle, wrap it in waxed paper and rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes between turns. Keep the rolling pin floured and remove any fat or dough that adheres to it with a dry paper towel.
Chill the pastry until it is quite cold before using it.