What Skills Do You Need to Do Well in Baking School?
Although the two fall under the same umbrella concept of working in the kitchen, baking school and cooking school are two very different ideas. Cooking is very much an art form, requiring students to use their imaginations and their taste buds to come up with new, delicious creations.
Baking is more like a science, and although there is certainly room for creativity, there is much about baking that has to do with measurements and proportions of ingredients. Most of the time, culinary professionals focus on either baking or cooking, although they may dabble a little in both. If you think baking school might be right for you, consider the following skills sets:
Attention to detail: Because so much of baking school is about creating correct proportions of things like leavening agents, you have to be able to understand how the little things might make all the difference.
Adaptable and imaginative: At the same time, while you have to be able to adhere to time-honored techniques and recipes, you have to be able to come up with recipes of your own. That means taking the skills you learn and applying them to your own creations.
Physically capable: Much of baking is strenuous. You can expect to work in a hot, fast-paced environment, oftentimes for long hours at a time. In many types of settings, you'll also need to lift heavy trays and/or cakes.
Team-oriented: When you go to baking school or even start a baking career, you're not going to be going solo. You need to work well with others in both a leadership and a team setting, since commercial kitchens and bakeries often require collaboration from the start of a project to the finish.
Of course, you'll also need basic kitchen skills. Fortunately all of these things can be learned as you go through baking skill. Some people are born with the type of patience and attention it takes to become a successful pastry chef; others have to develop these things over time.
As long as you choose a good pastry arts and baking school, however, you've taken the right first step.