Do you love to bake? Maybe the kitchen is like a second home to you. Filled with memories of baking with family and friends. Many who love baking find joy in what they do and often look for ways to take their passion and turn it into a career. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you have been thinking for a while about pursuing a career as a professional baker, but wondering if you could really do it. Guess what, you probably can! Becoming a baker takes training and skill, but there are also qualities every baker should have. Below we have outlined five qualities of a baker. Look and see how many of these you already possess. If you worried about any of these, don’t be. Developing that quality (or qualities) can always be an area of focus during your training.
Important Qualities of a Professional Baker
- Organizational Skills - It is important for any baker to have good organizational skills. This is true for many reasons. First, bakers work with many different ingredients in the kitchen. A skilled baker must know how to be organized. Second, there are ingredients that may look and sound similar. For example, baking soda and baking powder. They may look and sound similar, but they are not. In the world of baking, they are very different. Another example is salt and sugar. For someone who may be in a hurry and not paying attention, they may easily confuse the two if they are unorganized. Unfortunately, mixing up salt and sugar may not yield the desired taste you are looking for in your finished product.
- Precision - Precision is another essential quality a baker should possess. Have you ever heard people say that baking is a science? Well, it is! Baking is very precise and skilled bakers must always keep this in mind. Adding an incorrect amount of an ingredient can drastically change the taste or texture of their finished product. Because of this, it is important for bakers to measure ingredients carefully and correctly.
- Communication Skills - Bakers may interact with a variety of people on the job. This may include others in the kitchen as well as possible customers. Because of this, it is important for bakers to have good communication skills. For a baker working in a restaurant, they will need to understand how their dishes may fit into the larger menu of a restaurant. In a bakery or a bakeshop, good communication skills are equally important. A baker may be interacting with customers regularly. This may include answering questions and taking customers’ orders. A baker needs to not only be able to actively listen to what the customer may be saying to them but also know what questions to ask. This is especially important to ensure the customer’s expectations are met.
- Stamina & Strength - It is important for any baker to have good stamina and strength. This is essential because a baker will be on their feet while working. A busy kitchen can keep even the most talented bakers busy. As a result, a baker should be comfortable being on their feet for extended periods of time. In addition, bakers (especially those who work in larger kitchens) may have large bags and containers of ingredients that they use daily. If you are the one responsible for lifting the big bags of flour and pouring them into the mixer, you want to make sure you will have the strength to do this.
- Tidiness - Think about it, no one wants to eat food that came from a dirty kitchen. It really does not get any simpler than that. As a result, tidiness is a very important quality or a baker to possess. Bakers should always strive to keep their workstation clean and organized. It is not only good in terms of food preparation, but it is important in terms of general kitchen management (and etiquette). Perhaps most important though, tidiness and sanitation are critical for a baker (and anyone who works in food preparation). Customers want to be confident that the food they are eating is safe to eat and was prepared in a clean and sanitary environment.
Do you think you have what it takes to become a professional baker? If so, get ready to take your love for baking to the next level. Learn more about training in the Baking and Pastry Arts program at Dorsey Schools.
Topics covered in the Baking and Pastry Arts program include:
- Knife skills
- Bakeshop mise en place
- Bread making
- Baking techniques used to create restaurant-quality cookies, pies, custards, meringue, and frozen desserts
- Pastry work such as custards, creams, and sauces, tortes, entremets, petits fours, plated desserts, cakes and icings
- Specialty cakes, chocolate, confections, and sugar work.
The Baking and Pastry Arts program is offered at the Dorsey Schools Roseville, MI campus.