Cody Fitchett: Rest the batter for 20 minutes

Cody Fitchett

Good morning, or afternoon depending on what time you’re reading this column and drinking your coffee.

I have some exciting news for this week’s column. As noted in my last column, I had a phone interview with the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. I am happy to announce that I received the job and will be externing there in November. I am truly excited for this experience and cannot wait to be soaking up the sun in Florida.

This past week in baking class, we made cake doughnuts. I have never made cake doughnuts before, so this was a great experience for me.

A tip for any fried batter is to let it sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This gives the gluten time to relax and become one with the dough. Now, many of you might not know what gluten is — it is the protein inside flour that allows things like cakes, breads and cookies to rise.

Last Friday, we also made croissants from scratch. This might seem like a scary situation at first, but in the end it’s really not that bad at all. You start with a dough that is water, sugar, flour, salt, yeast and butter. Give that dough time to proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Then you roll it out and add a big block of butter to create 298 layers inside. There are many more steps, but I only have so much here. The final product turns out to be a beautiful croissant that has a nice honeycomb interior, as we call it here at the Culinary Institute of America.

When making batter that will be fried, let it sit for 20 minutes. Courtesy photo by Cody Fitchett

I only have a couple weeks left in my fundamentals class, and then I move on to several different classes that are only three weeks long. Well, it’s that time again — time to go celebrate my job in Florida. 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 Intitute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Email him at chefcodyfitchett@gmail.com