Proof your yeast in warm (NOT HOT) water. Make sure your water is no warmer than 110º F. Let it sit 5-8 minutes until bubbly. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to this frothy mixture and mix.
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until your mixture forms a dough. Cover the dough and set aside the dough to rise for 1 hour.
Note if it is cold outside or in your house, I like to rise my dough in the oven. Preheat your oven to 200º F then turn it off. Add the covered bowl to the oven and allow your dough to rise there.
After lots of rising, place the dough on wax paper or a mat. Roll the dough flat to about ¼ inch thickness.
Add butter chunks to half the dough. You don't want your butter chunks too big. Mine are about 1-inch and thinly cut.
Fold the dough up over the butter as I show in the photo above. The key is to cover the butter up and nestle the dough all around it.
Roll the dough with the butter chunks to ¼ inch thickness again. (If you look closely, you can see the butter inside.)
We are going to repeat this process a lot. Each layer breaks up the butter into thin bits mixed into the dough. Think of the thin areas of butter creating pockets of flaky layers.
Repeat this process of rolling, adding butter, and folding, for a total of 3-4 more times. This process is lengthy and takes time but it is what gives the pastry its flaky layers. I promise it is worth it!
Cut the dough into the shape you want and add filling. This one has cream cheese and apricot preserves.
Roll or fold and then brush egg wash over the dough. Allow to sit 10 minutes while the oven preheats to 350º F.
Bake for 20 minutes, depending on the size of your pastries. Remove from the oven and allow cooling.