Baker or Pastry Chef
A baker or pastry chef creates and bakes pastries, assorted types of breads, cookies, pies and other baked goods for restaurants, grocers, wholesalers and other places where baked goods are sold. They decorate certain pastries with glazing, icing or other ingredients to make them appealing to the customer. They monitor the measurements, shape and cooking time of the bread or pastries or other baked goods to ensure success of the product.
How to become a Baker or Pastry Chef
A baker or pastry chef usually comes with 1-2 years experience in a work related skill and has some on-the-job training. Technical school with criteria in nutrition, basic math and food safety is becoming more accepted. A high school diploma or it's equivalent is usually required and any higher education in this career field is helpful in gaining employment.
Job Description of a Baker or Pastry Chef
A baker or pastry chef would have the duties of baking and mixing ingredients to be used in baking pastries, pies, cookies, various breads and other baked goods. They make sure oven temperatures are set correctly for baking and monitor the color of the baked item to judge if any adjustments may be necessary in temperature, humidity or conveyor equipment speeds.
A baker or pastry chef would prepare doughs, batters, icings or fillings by using scales or graduated containers to weigh or measure ingredients. They produce pie crusts, cookies, breads and other types of doughs through kneading, cutting or rolling it into specific shapes and sizes.
He or she checks for food safety standards and specifications for the quality of any raw materials being used or of any equipment used. They would apply toppings, glazes or icings to baked goods in a creative way and strive to make the item visually pleasing and tasty.
A baker or pastry chef uses a variety of tools and technology, such as, commercial use moulds, cutlery and ovens. They use cake decorating moulds or equipment, as well as, forming machines, like, bagel dividers, dough presses or tartlet machines. They need to have knowledge of food production and processing, customer and personal services and mathematics. He or she should be an active listener, coordinator, monitor and critical thinker.
A baker or pastry chef can be found working in retail or commercial bakeries, grocery stores, specialty food stores or restaurants. They have a variety of shifts that would usually include week-ends and holidays.