Studies & Degrees in Baking and Pastry
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Baking and Pastry is one of the most popular technical courses today which is of course thanks to man’s love for bread and sweets. Tracing back the history of baking and pastry making, will take us to the time even before the Egyptians. The first evidence of baking was when men tried mixing wild grass grain with almost everything, soaking it in water, mashing it into some kind of paste, and putting it on a flat rock which was placed on hot embers. When the Egyptians came, bread was becoming more like the bread we know today. On the other hand, the Romans were technically the first pastry cooks when they tried mixing sweet things like honey to plain bread. The Roman pastry cooks were highly respected, especially those who could invent new pastries that were unseen before. With the expansion of their kingdom, Roman pastry cooking spread all over the world and even to the eastern parts of Asia. Baking and pastry making became an art when open-air cafés were developed and popularized in Paris.
Baking and Pastry, Part of the Culinary Arts
Baking and pastry making take more than just cooking a block of bread and covering it with an ample amount of icing. As it is considered an art, students interested in taking this course are expected to learn making a wide range of bread—from simple and traditional, to more elegant desserts fit as showpieces—using sugar, syrups, icings, chocolate, and even fruits.
Many suggest, and even advise students to first take Culinary Arts as a stepping stone before moving on to Baking and Pastry Arts. Students who take Culinary Arts will learn how to masterfully handle knifes and even how to create artistic food presentation. Students will also learn culinary theories such as how to create menus and designing a kitchen that can produce it, both of which are important foundation should they choose to become professional pastry cooks. Soft skills like management, leadership and communication skills, budgeting, and integrating computer applications in the food service are also important should students decide to take this course.
The Baking and Pastry Curriculum
Students who did take Culinary Arts would have a basic knowledge on baking which will be developed and mastered when they move on to Pastry Arts. An example of a curriculum on Baking and Pastry include subjects in: basic and artisanal breads; pies, tarts, pastries; cookies, petit four, cakes; advanced cake decorating and wedding cakes; custards and mousse; plated desserts; chocolate and candies; ice cream and sorbet; pastillage, chocolate, and sugar showpieces. Most, if not all, curriculums also include an externship which will allow students to apply their knowledge in the field. Not only will this externship be helpful in reiterating the knowledge students will get while in school, this will also be helpful in determining whether a student is indeed ready for the pastry industry.
After completing the course, students will be able to prepare yeast raised products (breads, laminated dough); prepare a wide of variety of cakes; prepare egg and dairy based products; and, more importantly, utilize concept of budgeting, cost control, quality standards, and profit and staffing cost.