ChefTalk.com Top Picks
Where did you run into trouble the first time 'round?
There are several different ways; the 'traditional' technique is to take a big chunk of butter, smash it into a square shape, wrap it in dough, and then just keep chilling, rolling and folding until you have the number of layers you'd like. There's a great little tutorial for it here: http://www.joepastry.com/category/techniques/laminating-dough/
That's the way your teacher is going to want you to do it, but I like to use a shortcut method that you can maybe keep in mind for later. Soften the butter SLIGHTLY, and then throw it in the mixer to blend it up and make sure there are no hard chunks in it (it should still be a very solid butter texture). Then roll out your dough into a rough rectangle, and spread the butter evenly on 2/3 of it; fold over the unbuttered third first, and then follow with the opposite side to get your first fold down. Turn 90 degrees and repeat the fold, then throw the whole thing in the fridge for a bit. After that, the process is the same as the traditional methods; chill, fold a couple times, repeat.
Some pastry chefs prefer a 'book folding' pattern instead of using thirds; it gets you more layers faster, but you also have more dough in between each layer of butter, so it all kinda evens out in the end. Use whatever fold you are most comfortable with.
Just make sure you give the dough enough time to chill properly so the butter stays solid and the gluten can relax; don't try and do too many folds at once, otherwise you will just end up with buttery dough (which is nice, but won't give you the layers you're looking for in a laminated pastry). Be patient, and it should turn out. Good luck!
I always have a hard time keeping my dough square as I go through this procedure. Probably related to my difficulty rolling dough out round as well.