Baking

Great Tips to Master Baking

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Reviewed by Amel Magdy

Baking is one of the most important and oldest professions in history. Bakery products have been made everywhere in the world since ancient times on a daily basis, indicating that it is one of the indispensable basics of life.

Baking is a science and an art that includes ideas, principles, rules, recipes, skills and personal experiences, and it has many elements that chefs may specialise in.

The most important principles and foundations must be understood by chefs involved in this culinary field or those looking to specialise in preparing bread, desserts, and various dough forms. If you aim to create your own food project related to the field of bakery or pastry, here are some tips which can help you identify the field and excel and excel in it:

Speciality: The chef must choose what they want to specialise in, as it requires a good new and coherent idea, and then study everything related to it, whether it is manufacturing methods or new trends in this field and the tools that they will need, and then they must calculate the cost of the products and compare it with the potential return to see if the profit margin will be feasible or not, to be able to know whether they are able to manage the expenses of their restaurant or project ideally or vice versa.

The Market: The time comes to study the market and get to know it more carefully and accurately to see if there will be sufficient demand for what you intend to offer or not, in addition to observing the competitors present in the market and noting what their advertising methods are and what products they offer that may constitute competition for you, to be able to put your products in the competitive market.

Advertisement: The business owner must think about the most appropriate methods of advertising and promotion that must be followed in their business and study what methods will be appropriate for the work they intend to launch and how they will follow up on these advertising methods.

Logo: Finally, you must choose a name or logo for the product or brand suitable for your business personality and the products provided. For this reason, it is vital to pick a memorable name and logo that can stick in customers’ memories for the longest time.

Baking Challenges

There are some challenges that chefs may face at the beginning of launching their commercial projects for providing food and hospitality services. The first of these obstacles is the lack of all the products they need because they are not abundant in the market. In addition, they may face difficulty purchasing all the tools and the necessary equipment because of their high prices. Still, they can start buying what is necessary and what they can cover its cost, and then they will be able to buy the rest of the tools of the required quality.

As for the other challenge, there are possibilities for delayed success. Many chefs at the beginning of their journeys faced many obstacles that did not allow the success of their first products, but this did not make them quit. The matter calls for the chef not to stop learning because the science and art of baking is very broad and branched. It includes recipes, skills and culinary arts; Therefore, the chef must learn and develop themselves in order to succeed and become prominent and distinguished.

Therefore, the art of baked goods and desserts is a world full of countless recipes without creativity limits. It is a wonderful opportunity and a wide field for chefs to show their talents and abilities. Still, it is necessary to realise that it requires a lot of effort, experience, patience and the desire for continuous learning so that the chef can excel in what they offer.

Baking

Bakery vs Pastry as a Career

The primary distinction between a baker and a pastry chef is in the final products and how they are decorated. A baker uses pre-established recipes to produce large quantities of specific baked goods like bread, cakes, biscuits, and pastries but is not responsible for decorating them. A pastry chef may take much time to decorate products before serving them by adding creams, custards, fruits, and different fillings.

The pastry chef does not only decorate the baked goods but – as we explained above – they are responsible for the desserts department in the entire kitchen, as they prepare all kinds of desserts such as mousse, pudding, tart, cupcakes, ice cream and many other types. They also have a set of subsidiary tasks, such as following up on the stock of products, supervising the assistant team, and developing the sweets menu.

Bread or the “bakery” depends on the presence of certain components in specific quantities, which are flour, liquids and yeast. The fact that yeast is a living substance makes it need some of the sense and experience that the baker derives through long years of work in the field. The theoretical aspect is in the part that is relatively little to do with the bakery.

Baking Skills

The baker must pay attention to the theoretical side and understand it well for practical application with the required accuracy and skill. While the practical part has the greatest importance in enriching the baker’s experience, they must work with their hands for a long time until they gain experience and reach the desired stage of sophistication.

On the other hand, baking sweets or pastries centres around science and the chemical and physical interactions of the ingredients, so there is not much room for variables or modifications. So you can get a satisfactory result.

For instance, if you add the ingredients precisely the right amounts, use the proper kneading techniques, allow enough time for the dough to rest and ferment, and pay attention to the temperature of the ingredients, the oven temperature, and other variables factors, such as the humidity level in the baking area, only then should the results be impressive exactly as you wanted, and there will be no room for errors.

This is what differentiates between the previous two areas and the hot kitchen. In the hot kitchen, many variables can be manipulated and worked on. Still, in the field of pastry, there must be a specific recipe that is followed accurately.

General Tips to Be a Prominent Chef

When dealing with and cooking in a hot kitchen, it is possible to taste the recipe while cooking it and at every step. Therefore, it is possible to modify it or change some of its ingredients. Still, it is impossible to change or modify baked recipes. Once the mixture enters the oven, adding or changing the amount of any component is impossible.

The basis of pastries and baked goods is the type of dough, the ingredients used, the method of mixing them, and the baking process. Each of the previous points makes a big difference in the final result of the product itself.

Baking

In the context of talking about the basics of baking and its most important principles, the activities of the intensive course touched on several important sub-sectors concerned with the most important features of the field of baking, the field of pastry and the qualities that must be available in a chef specialised in this field, in addition to a set of advice and recommendations for developing professional expertise and skills in this field:

  1. Ensure order: the most important thing that must be taken care of in the kitchen of the pastry chef or baker is order, so it must be organised in the approach they follow and in the steps of the recipe and the weight of the correct ingredients. The use of the appropriate mixing method prescribed by the recipe and careful attention to the quality of the ingredients used, considering the temperature of the ingredients and the temperature of the oven, is the basis of the recipes for baked goods.
  2.  Attention to hygiene: Paying attention to personal and kitchen hygiene is a very important factor in the food and hospitality services sector, so the chef must know how to take care of hygiene in the kitchen to avoid any weaknesses in this field.
  3.  Attending training courses and discussion sessions: For the chef to obtain the greatest amount of culinary experience, they must attend training courses offered by different chefs so that young chefs can learn the different presentation methods and dealing and management methods. Each chef has a unique approach, so the chef must deal with more than an experienced chef.
  4.  Working in more than one place: It is good for a chef to work in different places with multiple chefs for sufficient periods to learn and gain the expertise of those who are experienced in the field and their methods of baking and serving.
  5.  Participation in competitions: One of the tips that can greatly affect the experience of young chefs is to participate in cooking competitions. Still, their only goal is not to win, but they must aim to see what is new in the world of baked goods and sweets and learn from other competitors and what they offer. In addition to finding opportunities for self-development, whether by being present in the activities of the competitions themselves or through research and training that precedes the competition.
  6.  Attention to new trends: You must pay attention to everything new in the market, whether it is products, cooking methods, equipment, tools, or new decorating and presentation methods. As for the presentation methods, there are some modern methods that many pastry chefs have begun to follow. About five or ten years ago, most presentation methods belonged to the classic French style. Still, now the greatest trend has become towards modern decorating methods.
Baking

Finally, we must realise that baking and making sweets is an art formed by each baker or pastry chef according to their desire, imaginative, and creative abilities, but in a way that does not conflict with the scientific and physical foundations included in baking processes in terms of the use of ingredients and their different proportions, and their temperature and the room and oven temperatures.

Well! we came to the end of our tips list for mastering baking. Let us know in the comments which of the two fields you are more interested in.

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