2 1/2 cups (about 11 ounces) all-purpose bleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
To mix the dough by hand, combine flour, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir well to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to dry ingredients. Toss once or twice to coat pieces of butter. Then using your hands or a pastry blender, break the butter into tiny pieces and pinch and squeeze it into the dry ingredients. Keep the mixture uniform by occasionally reaching down to the bottom of the bowl and mixing all the ingredients evenly together. Continue rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible.
Sprinkle the minimum amount of water over the butter and flour mixture and stir gently with a fork -- the dough should begin holding together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add the remaining water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together easily.
To mix the dough in the food processor, combine flour, salt and baking powder in work bowl fitted with metal blade. Pulse 3 times at 1-second intervals to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to work bowl. Process, pulsing repeatedly at 1-second intervals, until the mixture is fine and powdery, resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible -- about 15 pulses in all.
Scatter the minimum amount of water on the butter and flour mixture and pulse 5 or 6 times -- the dough should begin holding together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add the remaining water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together easily.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, at least 1 hour, or up to several days
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