Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Slowly add about 1/4 of the ﬂour or cornmeal to the water. Stir quickly and constantly for about 5 minutes so no lumps form.
Reduce the heat. With a large spoon, scoop out about 1/4 of the mixture and set it aside in a bowl.
Add the remaining ﬂour or cornmeal, about a cup at a time, to the pot. Stir vigorously each time a more is added. Stir in the butter. If the mixture becomes too thick to stir, add some of the mixture you set aside. After about 5 minutes of adding ﬂour, the smooth paste should be too thick to stir.
Reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and cook 10 more minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Shape the paste into balls, sprinkle with salt to taste and serve along with stew, sauce or soup.