“Civilisation was built around wheat, around people settling down and not being nomadic. Baking is one of the oldest professions.” - Paul Hollywood
More and more people are becoming interested in baking. You don’t need to be a professional baker to make a lemon tart, puff pastries, or biscuits.
More and more people are getting behind their ovens and making tasty treats.
Baking is back!
Would you like to give it a go?
Here are our tips for becoming a great pastry chef!
Be Passionate About Baking
Like any art form or hobby, if you’re not passionate about it, you’ll never become a professional or good at it. Working with passion is the best way to get good at cooking and baking.
Ideally, baking will be something that you’ve been interested in for a long time so if you dream of becoming a baker, it needs to be more than just a fad.
To get started, you should probably try a few things at home like some simple tarts, a ganache, chocolate mousse, etc. There’s no need to be a famous chef to make some tasty pastries or cakes. Turn your Sundays into genuine baking workshops.
Learn more about getting started with baking.
Learn on the Job
You won’t need a degree to learn how to cook. A bit like many jobs you can find online, you can teach yourself. Learn as you go.
You can start learning how to bake at any age. Unlike music, where it’s better to have started at a young age, you can start baking later on in life. Whether with your family or with friends, you’ll see how quickly you can start learning.
By collecting recipes left, right, and centre, listening to your grandma’s advice, and trying your pastries and cakes. Try and try again. Just like that, you’ll start to get better.
Practising Every Day
Just like learning on the job, you can also improve by trying every day. If you enjoy being in the kitchen, you’ll be happy to keep practising.
Baking at home is a great way to relax, too. We recommend that you start with something simple.
Making a mille-feuille is tricker than making cookies or a chocolate cake. By increasing the difficulty as you improve, you’ll become an expert. You’ll be making perfect macaroons before you know it.
To improve after that, you’ll want to look at what the best pastry chefs.
Great chefs are a fantastic source of inspiration.
Discover the best baking recipes for beginners.
This is one of the most important tips for anyone who wants to become a good chef. Don’t ever ignore how long something has to rest for, how long you have to cook for, and how long something has to sit for. Of course, you don't want to bake something for too long as you can burn it!
Not waiting long enough for something is a very quick way to ruin whatever you’ve been making.
Would you like to make a lovely puff pastry, golden brioche, or a chocolate cake?
Take your time. If it says to leave it for two hours, there’s a reason for that. That doesn’t mean it’ll be completely ruined if it sits for an hour and a half or three hours, but it’ll be better if you follow the instructions so make sure that you plan before you make anything.
How can you become an expert baker if you don’t enjoy baking?
Whether you’re doing it for fun or professionally, baking has to be a pleasure, not a chore.
If you don’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t recommend doing it. You tend to be more creative when you’re having fun and creativity will fuel your baking. If you don’t want to learn how to improve your chocolate ganache, you’ll never become a better baker.
Study to Become a Better Baker
Professional training or studying is often the best way to become a better baker. You’ll need skills if you want to become a famous chef or baker. There are plenty of courses you could do so have a look around for ways to learn more about baking.
Find out what equipment you need to start baking.
Weigh Everything Carefully
Precision is essential when it comes to baking. You should weigh everything in your recipes including eggs, flour, butter, etc. A measuring cup just doesn’t cut it any more; you need a precise scale that measures to the nearest gram. Electronic scales will do the trick as it'll allow you to follow recipes to the letter. Whether you’re prepping, baking, or serving, it’s important to follow the instructions. This is especially true when it comes to the flour you use or the temperature of the oven.
Get the Right Equipment
You must use the right tools when baking. That said, it’s not the tools that will make your baking amazing. Just like a good guitar won’t make a good guitarist. That said, while you can see good guitarists playing cheap guitars well, you won’t see it the other way round.
When baking, you should opt for the right gear:
- Electronic scale
- Food processor
- Silpat baking sheet
- Rolling pin
- Cooking thermometer
- Cake tins
- Cookie cutters, etc.
There are certain brands to look out for like Matfer, DeBuyer, KitchenAid, etc.
Get the Right Ingredients
The choice of ingredients is hugely important. There are plenty of different types of flour, eggs, and sugars.
Some work for some recipes and not for others. For example, T45 flour will work for cakes, flans, and pancakes. However, a T55 flour, which is thicker, is good for certain pastries and brioche. T65 is commonly used in white bread.
The same is true of eggs. You should weigh eggs because different eggs can be used for different things. Similarly, they come in different sizes and weights. Larger eggs aren’t recommended for dough as they’ll make it too moist but smaller eggs will make it too dry.
Find out more about the right ingredients for baking.
Be Creative when Baking
Finally, now you can stop following every recipe to the letter. Certain innovations in baking came from not following the rules. It’s important to try new things, ingredients, and methods once you've got the hang of the fundamentals.
What about a strawberry eclair, square pies, or a lemon tart made with almond powder instead of flour?
You need to respect the balance of the flavours.
The last thing you need to do is go for it!
If you'd like to learn to make cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, banana bread, scones, meringue, chewy chocolate brownies, or other delicious baking recipes, get in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private baking tutors on Superprof.
There are three main types of tutorial available and each comes with a series of pros and cons and it'll be up to you to decide which type works best for your preferred learning style, budget, and personality.
Let's start with the type of tutorial that's usually the cheapest, group tutorials. In these tutorials, you'll be joined by several other students and you'll all be being taught how to bake at the same time. Since there are several of you, that means that you don't usually have to pay as much as everyone's paying for the tutor's time. However, this also means that the lessons won't be adapted or tailored to just you and you won't get as much of a say in what you get to bake and what you get to learn.
Face-to-face tutorials are great for those who have specific goals in mind and want a course or lessons that are tailored just to them. You'll be the only student attending the lesson and this means that you can talk to your tutor about what and how you want to learn. Of course, adapting each lesson to you and what you want to learn means that the tutor will have to plan a lot more outside of the session making this bespoke service more costly than group tutorials. You can often get the tutor to come to you and teach you from the comfort of your own home, too!
Finally, thanks to the internet, you can also be taught remotely with online tutorials. By using a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can get a tutor from anywhere in the world to teach you at any time of the day! Since the tutor doesn't have to travel and can schedule more tutorials each week as a result, they tend to charge less per hour than face-to-face tutorials. Similarly, if you want to learn a type of baking from a specific country, you can get a specialist from that particular country.