Cody Fitchett: Chill that biscuit dough

They to making a delicious biscuit is cold butter and cold dough. Courtesy photo
Cody Fitchett

Good morning people of the Shenandoah Valley! I’m happy to announce that the weather is beautiful and the Culinary Institute of America has finally turned on the fountains.

This past week has been nothing less than extraordinary. I received a 96 on my Skills 1 exam and have a phone interview with the Four Seasons Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, today to talk about a job in September.

Last Thursday for baking class we practiced for our Skills 1 exam, which was on Friday. For the exam we had to make a genoise sponge cake, eclairs, pastry cream, and buttermilk biscuits. We had 2:45 minutes to complete this task, and to have everything displayed ready for judging.

I learned a key tip in making biscuits is to have the coldest butter possible. We
even put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. The colder the butter, the better.

The biscuit dough should also chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking so the gluten has time to relax. You always want to bake the biscuits as cold as possible. Once you bake them, you brush them with melted butter and eat them warm. There is no other way to eat a biscuit besides warm.

I’m on week 10 here at the CIA and I only have five more weeks of my baking
fundamentals class, which is sad because Chef Egan is the best and she has taught me so much in so little time. I’ll always be grateful for the people who have gotten me to the place I am today; without them, I would not be able to write this wonderful article and share my experiences with my lovely friends and family back at home.

Well it’s time for nutrition class, so I can learn how to eat better. See you guys next week!

Cody Fitchett, of Fort Valley, is a recent graduate of Triplett Tech in Shenandoah County. He is sharing his thoughts here each week as he attends the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Email him at

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