The Institute of Culinary Education is one of the largest culinary schools in the world, offering both professional and recreational programs in New York City. Here, Chef Jenny McCoy, chef instructor in their School of Pastry & Baking Arts gives PEOPLE her tips for getting perfect biscuits every time.

Who doesn’t love a warm, flaky biscuit? Spread with just a touch of butter (or perhaps more than a touch), it’s hard to beat the tender crumb of a perfect biscuit. I love this simple, 4-ingredient recipe — it’s the one that we teach to students who are training to be professional chefs, so you know it has to be good.

Making biscuits is pretty simple. To make your next batch perfect, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Do not overwork or knead the biscuit dough. Your dough should look rough and have chunks of unmixed butter in it. I usually tell people: the worse your dough looks, the flakier your biscuits will be.

2. If your dough is very sticky, press it out on a generously floured work surface before cutting it.

3. Do not mistake the oven temperature (450°F) for a typo—biscuits bake much better at high temperatures for short periods of time. It helps them pop! If you have a convection setting on your oven, use that, too.

4. If you don’t have self-rising flour you can make it yourself. For every cup of self-rising flour needed, substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt.

5. If you don’t have a round cutter, use a glass—water glasses or wine glasses work well. Just make sure your glass is empty and dry.

WATCH: Dale Talde’s Deep-Fried Biscuit with Bacon Caramel

Super Flaky Biscuits Recipe

3 ¾ cups self-rising flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ sticks (12 tbsp.) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 cup milk, cream or buttermilk*
*If using buttermilk, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients before beginning to mix.

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a bowl, cut butter into flour and salt (and baking soda if using) until it resembles coarse meal. Pea-sized pieces of butter should remain visible.

2. Gradually stir in milk, adding only enough to make a soft dough.

3. Spread flour on a clean work surface and scrape dough onto it. Knead lightly several times to make dough smooth, being careful not to over-mix and adding extra flour if dough becomes too soft or sticky.

4. Press or roll dough to 1/2” thick. Do not make dough too thin. Cut with a round cutter and transfer to parchment paper-lined pan. Dust tops of biscuits with flour or brush with milk.

5. Bake biscuits for about 10 minutes, until well-risen, a deep golden hue and baked through. Serve immediately or cool and reheat at 350°F to warm before serving.

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