619-249-5180

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Baker?

Great bakers are not born—they are made through years of experience and education, multiple failures and successes, and more than a few burnt fingers. If you’ve ever dreamed of working as a professional baker, you will of course need to master various baking skills and techniques. But there are other skills needed for baking, often called “soft skills,” that will help you succeed in the kitchen and beyond. Here are 6 of the most important skills you’ll need to be a baker:

Creativity

Anyone can learn how to make a perfect pie or elegant patisserie, but not everyone can take their baking to the next level. Having the creativity necessary to explore new flavors, interesting textures, and exciting ingredient combinations is the best way to create crowd-pleasing new desserts, which is a must in the professional baking industry.

Attention to detail

Some say cooking is an art but baking is a science—and they’re right. Baking relies on precise measurements, temperatures, and techniques, and even the slightest deviation can lead to unimpressive results. Attention to detail is especially important when following a recipe, as skipping a step or not being prepared for it can result in a baking failure.

Organization

Because precision is key when it comes to baking, it’s best to have all your tools handy and ingredients measured and ready to mix before you start a recipe. That way you don’t have any lag time between steps, which could negatively affect the outcome of your masterpiece.

Patience

Some baked goods can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, but others can take quite a while. Bread needs time to rise, meringue needs time to be whisked properly, and pastry creams need to cool and set until they’re ready. Trying to speed up the process or cut corners will almost always result in a less than impressive dish, so it’s important to have the patience to see time-consuming steps through.

Grace under pressure

Trying to bake more than one item at a time is hectic enough in your home kitchen. In a professional setting, tensions can run as high as the oven temperature, and you’ll need to ensure you can rise above and keep focused on the recipe at hand. As far as skills for a bakery job go, this one is key.

Dedication

Getting a job in the professional baking industry is not easy, and like any other highly skilled job, you’ll need a generous helping of dedication to achieve your dreams. So keep practicing in the kitchen, keep educating yourself on various methods and techniques, and don’t give up, even if it seems like you have more failures than successes under your belt (or apron).

Learn how to be a professional baker at National Culinary

If you want to take your home baking skills to the next level and start a new career as a professional baker, National Culinary offers diploma programs in baking and pastry arts, plus advanced confectionary and sugar arts. To find out more about classes, financing options, and post-graduate job placement, give us a call at (619) 431-3942.