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Posts Tagged ‘baking skills’

Learn to Master These Baking and Pastry Techniques in Culinary School

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 by Florida Technical College

Learning to be a master baker and pastry chef is fun, rewarding, and challenging. If you have always enjoyed baking and making sweets, a career in a pastelería may be a great option. It’s fun to play around in your own kitchen, but there are some skills and baking and pastry techniques that you just can’t teach yourself. You need to learn from the expertise of real pastry chefs. That’s exactly what you get at Florida Technical College when you enroll in the baking and pastelería diploma program. New courses start every month and you can finish your diploma in baking and pastry and be a master pastry artist in as little as 13 months. In these courses, taught in real kitchens, you’ll learn hands-on baking skills and decorating techniques. There is both an art and a skill to pastry, sugar, and chocolate work. Read on to get a better idea of just a few of the fun and practical skills you can learn in our pastry and baking courses.   Sugar Cookies: Baking and Pastry Techniques 101  You have to start somewhere in your pastry education and learn to master the basic culinary techniques in baking and pastry before moving on to more advanced skills. One of the simplest, yet tastiest and useful recipes you’ll learn at FTC is for sugar cookies. These cookies make a great canvas for decorating for any occasion. You can roll the dough out and cut the cookies into shapes for the holidays, for birthdays, graduation parties, or any other special occasion. The simple but delicious cookies can then be decorated with icing and other add-ons.   The Sugar Cookies Recipe A basic sugar cookie recipe is one of many important baking and pastry techniques and it begins with sugar and butter. You need 6 ounces of room temperature, unsalted butter and 2 ounces of powdered sugar. Cream them together by mixing, either by hand or with a stand mixer, which is easier and faster. When you have a smooth, consistent mixture, add in one egg, a half teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix until they are well incorporated. The next step is to add in the flower and baking powder. A great technique that you won’t necessarily learn from a cookbook or recipe, but which you will get from your expert culinary instructors is to sift the flour before adding it to the wet mixture. Sifting is simple an easy, but makes a world of difference. It breaks up lumps, aerates the flour, and allows you to measure the amount more accurately. Mix a half teaspoon of baking powder into 8 ounces of flower and then sift. Add the sifted mixture to your mixing bowl and mix until evenly incorporated.     Chilling, Cutting, Baking Another of the many baking and pastry techniques you won’t learn just anywhere is that you get better cookies when you chill the dough before baking it. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or for 20 minutes in the freezer if your time is limited. Once you have chilled it well you can remove the dough, roll it thinly with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Bake the cookies on a cookie sheet in a 325 °F oven for about 12 minutes or until the edges turn a golden brown. When they are finished, remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack using a spatula. Let them cool thoroughly before decorating with icing, sprinkles, and more. When it comes to baking and pastry techniques, sugar cookies belong in the entry-level course. All bakers and pastry chefs have mastered this simple and versatile recipe. When you find your new job in pastries and baking, you’ll be glad to have this one under your belt so you can impress your new employer with your solid foundation in baking.   The Art of Pulled Sugar Among the top baking school techniques is pulled sugar candy and decorations. This is a more advanced example of the many baking and pastry techniques you will learn as a culinary student. It takes practice and the guidance of an instructor experienced in sugar work to master this craft. Once you have it mastered, you will be able to impress prospective employers and clients with beautiful, ribbon-like candy. Pulling sugar is a technique that is used to create ribbons of candy, but also other shapes. The secret is to get the recipe right, but also to consider effects of temperature, how long the sugar is boiled, and how you manipulate it. Once you master this skill you can make ribbons, candy flowers, and many other kinds of sugar sculptures.   A History of Pulled Sugar Using sugar to create shapes and sculptures dates back to the Middle East in Medieval times. People used sugar art in celebrations, but also as medicine. The practice moved from there into Europe where royalty and aristocrats displayed their wealth with elaborate sculptures made from pulled sugar. Today, the practice of art from sugar is an important one of many baking and pastry techniques that all pastry chefs need to know.   The Pulled Sugar Recipe Recipes for pulled sugar vary and you will learn to get it just right during your baking and pastry classes. An example of a recipe for sugar ribbons is to heat five cups, or one kilogram of sugar, three tablespoons of white vinegar, and a cup plus two tablespoons of water in a saucepan. Temperature is crucial in working with sugar, so you will need a candy thermometer to get it just right. You need to heat the ingredients together until they reach a temperature of 320 °F.   Mastering the Baking and Pastry Techniques for Pulling Sugar into Ribbons Once the mixture has reached this temperature, pour it onto a large silicone baking mat or several if the sugar won’t all fit on one. […]

7 Signs You Should Be In A Baking Arts Program

Posted on September 10th, 2016 by Florida Technical College

Do you love to cook and bake? More specifically, do you love to cook and bake for others? If you do, chances are baking school or pastry school could be your start to a successful and enjoyable career.   love for A cooking Do you find yourself in the kitchen each night, stirring the contents of bubbling pots on the stove, or measuring and sifting ingredients for the night’s meal? Do you enjoy the process and science of creating something savory? If you find yourself wondering what you will bake that weekend while at your day job, and if you have a love for cooking, baking and pastry school may be the start to an education that you’ll enjoy. Schools for baking and pastry arts even offer courses in chocolate and candy making. If you desire to learn baking and pastry arts beyond that of magazines and cookbooks, baking school could be right for you. If dinner at your house has guests clawing at your front door 30 minutes early, only to lick their plate clean and ask for more, it could be a sign that you should be in a baking arts program.   Detail Oriented If you are someone who appreciates the process of fine tuning a product and you naturally take the time to understand the cause and effect, chances are you’ll fit right in pastry and baking courses. They say cooking is an art, and baking is a science, because every ingredient plays a specific role in baking. If you enjoy the taking your time to scoop and pour perfect measurements, knead the dough for just the right amount of time, and grease every nook and cranny of the pan so that your cakes fall out effortlessly, then a baking and pastry arts program could lead to an enjoyable career for you. They say that cooking is an art, while baking is a science. The little details in baking and pastry making are essential to a delicious final product. If you find yourself pouring water splash by splash to ensure a perfect cup measurement, or counting the number of chocolate chips that go into a batch of homemade cookies, take it as a sign that you would excel in a baking arts program. Creating a sweet and savory product in baking and pastry classes requires the attention to detail that you have.     Not afraid to try new things Every great chef tastes the food they make. They taste raw ingredients during the preparation stage, they taste their dish as it cooks, and they taste it when it is finished. If you enjoy the excitement of trying new things, especially foods, you possess an important trait of a potentially great baker. In baking and pastry classes you get the chance to discover so many flavors and combinations. A food lover always looking to expand their repertoire of food knowledge and tastes would get the chance to do just that in a baking and pastry arts class. Not only do you get to learn the techniques of the trade, but you will discover ingredient combinations that leave your mouth watering at the end of each baking class. What better way to savor the day than spending it learning the art of baking and pastry making?   You currently work in food service Ever dream of being the boss? If you currently have a passion for food and work in the food service industry, but aren’t in the position you would love, baking and pastry arts classes can offer you the knowledge and skills it takes to move forward with your professional goals. Attending a technical college for a baking arts program is a rewarding experience. Not only are you doing something you love, but it is almost immediately hands on. Each day you attend pastry and baking courses you will leave with something new to contribute to your current job. Upon receiving your degree or diploma you will be qualified and eligible to take on larger tasks and more responsibilities at work. If you love the fast paced environment of the food service industry, the art of plating food to create an aesthetically pleasing dish, the patience of placing a piece of cake just so, then carefully drizzling melted caramel or chocolate into designs before presenting the table with their dessert, then you clearly belong in baking and pastry classes. Use your already attained food service industry knowledge to excel in the work place after graduating from a baking arts program. Not only are you used to the fast paced life of the service industry, but you’ll have the skills to stay behind the scenes doing what you really love. If you already love your job, but would like to go a step further and transform your career into one more rewarding both financially and mentally, you should definitely sign up for pastry and baking courses.   You are ready to start your professional career as soon as possible One of the best things about baking and pastry schools is that you learn so many valuable skills and information in a short period of time. Not only does the program prepare you for a rewarding career as soon as you graduate, but it allows you to accomplish these career goals with speed and efficiency. Going to baking and pastry school is a straight shot towards your future career as a professional baker and pastry artist. The classes are straight forward and focus on the trade without all of the extra hassle of taking classes you won’t need or use in the workplace. In baking and pastry school you will get to focus all of your attention and effort on the one thing that interests you most. This not only means money saved from the expense of books and classes you would otherwise take in another program, but time saved. Time is money, and in no time you could be making your own as a baker. That’s […]