1 tbsp active dry yeast (not instant and not rapid rise)
¾ cup tepid water
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
extra sugar for rolling out the pastry
2-3 tbsp melted butter
a few plums, sliced (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar. Stir. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
Gradually stir in flour and salt. The dough should be soft, but not too sticky (depending on the flour you use, you might need to adjust the amount). Transfer the dough onto a flat surface dusted with flour. Knead for 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic and does not stick to your hands.Brush a medium bowl with melted butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for one hour in a warm place.
Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap. Transfer the dough onto a flat surface dusted with flour. Roll the dough into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle.The dough might be sticky. Do not sprinkle too much flour; use the pastry scraper to help you handle the dough and prevent from sticking to the surface.
Distribute the butter in the center of the rectangle, sprinkle with ¼ cup of sugar. Fold the dough into thirds: first fold the left side over the center, then fold the right side (see the picture in the blog).Sprinkle the dough with ¼ cup of sugar and fold again into thirds this time starting from the bottom.
Place on the plastic wrap-lined plate, cover and chill for 1 hour.
Remove the excess flour from the rolling surface. Sprinkle the surface generously with the extra sugar. Transfer the dough onto the sugar-covered surface. Sprinkle the dough with ¼ cup of sugar, press it in a bit with your hands and roll into a rectangle.
Fold the same way as before. Chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Brush a 9-inch pie dish with melted butter.
Roll the dough into a circle as large as the baking pan. If it's very sticky, sprinkle with some sugar.Transfer the dough into the baking pan. Top with slices of plums (if using). Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Drizzle with 1 tbsp melted butter.
Bake until the top of the cake is deeply caramelized (the original recipe says 40-45 minutes, my cake was ready earlier). Leave to cool down for a few minutes, then using a metal spatula remove from the baking pan.
Source: David Lebovitz