Some bakers chill everything — the butter, the flour, even the bowl and other tools. Why? Flour contains proteins called glutens that stiffen up as a dough is mixed or kneaded. Cool temperatures slow down this stiffening, giving the baker more control over the process.
When it's warm, butter softens and blend in with the flour, so you get fewer of the little lumps and thus a less flaky texture, which is not what you want. Next page >>