Roll pastry into a rectangle 8 inches wide and 1/8-inch-thick. Cut edges so they are even; discarding scraps. Sprinkle top of pastry with a light coating of sugar. Roll each long end to center of pastry rectangle, making sure pastry is tight and even. Cut crosswise into 3/8-inch-inch slices. Spray baking sheet with water. Place slices 3 inches apart. Cover, and chill at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bake until bottoms begin to caramelize, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and quickly turn palmiers over, sprinkle with additional sugar, and return to oven. Bake until tops are evenly caramelized but not burned, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
In the bowl of a food processor or using the flat paddle of an electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup flour with the butter until very smooth. Shape the mixture into a flat square 1-inch-thick, wrap well in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes. Combine the salt with the remaining flour in a large mixing bowl and add the cream (or cream and water). Mix the dough well by hand or with an electric mixer; the dough will not be completely smooth but it should not be sticky. Shape it into a flat square 1 1/2 inches-thick, wrap in plastic, and chill, at least 30 minutes. Remove the flour dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a rectangle twice as long as the butter dough. Place the butter dough in the center, fold up the ends to completely encase the butter dough, and seal the edges by pinching them together. Wrap well in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes, so that the dough achieves the same temperature throughout. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured board; roll it out into a large rectangle approximately 1/2-inch-thick. Fold the dough into 1/3's, aligning the edges carefully and brushing off any excess flour. The object is to ensure that the butter is distributed evenly throughout so that the pastry will puff evenly when baked. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes. This completes 1 turn. Repeat this process 5 more times; classic puff pastry gets 6 turns, creating hundreds of layers of butter between layers of the flour dough (729 to be exact). Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough, and always brush off any excess. Remember to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator between turns, or 15 minutes in the freezer. This chilling makes the rolling out much easier and it keeps the layers of butter of equal thickness. By the sixth and final turn, the dough should be very smooth, with no lumps of butter visible. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 2 days), or freeze for future use. Yield: about 2 pounds
(c)2003 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.