For a lot of bakers, the dream to pursue the career starts at an early age. Many of them share that their first encounter with baking is by watching the women in their family baking cookies, pies, or cakes, and getting to lick the batter off the spoons and whisks.
After that, they just come to enjoy the intricate process, the delicious scents, and the sweet treats for the family to share. Eventually, they start baking on their own with the help of their family’s collected recipes and cookbooks and find tremendous satisfaction in their baked creations. This satisfaction then breeds the desire to make baking their source of livelihood.
That is just one example of the early beginnings for bakers, and it's an integral element in preparing them for a path in culinary arts. But, naturally, if you want to become a successful professional baker, you can’t just be fuelled by nostalgia. You need to possess other qualities, five of which are discussed below.
1. True love for food
A genuine love for and interest in food are always a prerequisite for anyone to build a successful career in the food industry. You have to love to eat food and make it.
It's hard to be a successful baker if the food doesn't interest you as much. Therefore, a deep interest in and love for baked goods, at the very least, are the perfect foundation for pursuing baking as a career.
2. Willingness to learn
The best bakers are moulded by expert instruction. So, enroll in a baking course offered by a top culinary institution. In these courses, you will learn all the baking technicalities, which you will need to make great-tasting bread, cakes, cookies, and other pastries. More importantly, you’ll find this formal foundation very useful once you start developing your own recipes as a professional, one day.
Aside from formal education, an apprenticeship program is also important. The opportunity to work alongside experts will help you develop better and more techniques. Another excellent benefit from an apprenticeship program is that industry veterans are very generous in imparting valuable lessons, many of which you cannot find in textbooks.
Learning should be a never-ending process.
To become a successful baker, you need to be humble and recognize that despite your love for baking, your experiences, and all the things you know, there's always room for improvement.
In the kitchen, situations will not always turn out the way you want them to. The best-baked treats usually take countless trials and errors to master.
All the failed outcomes can be quite discouraging, but patience is the best defence. If you are patient, you'll find yourself in the right head zone to keep on working toward your goals. It will be so much easier for you to outwork setbacks, as well as maintain harmonious relationships with the people working with you.
It's important to mention, as well, that patience is one of the keys to happiness in the kitchen. When you're a baker, happiness with what you do is highly beneficial for your professional wellbeing and helps ensure the people who will consume your baked creations find delight in them.
4. High standards of cleanliness
Cleanliness is a vital commitment for bakers. It's not merely a sanitation requirement imposed by the food service industry, but an absolute must.
It's the cornerstone of order in the kitchen and in delivering the highest quality of baked products. As always taught in culinary schools, cooking is all about pre-preparation, and it involves making sure that everything is clean before preparing the ingredients and launching into baking.
Following instructions in baking is definitely essential in achieving the best product quality and consistency. However, creativity is always encouraged — after all, baking is an art. Once you have a solid foundation in baking, exploring where this can take you is the next step.
As mentioned earlier, you should remember there's always room for improvement and trying something new. The dedication to creating something better and different will keep your passion for baking burning. It is integral to maintaining joy and bringing excitement to every new day in the kitchen.
With baking as your source of livelihood, you need to be innovative. This way, you'll be able to prevent your menu from becoming stale and keep your offerings relevant, especially if you think about how food trends change so rapidly.
Where to Study to Become a Baker
If you have set your heart on becoming a baker, sign up for baking courses in Dubai at the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA). We are one of the top culinary institutions in the world, and we offer an extensive range of courses for aspiring bakers and chefs.
You can choose from both our certificate and diploma programs. Visit our campus to see our special approach to grooming professionals for the food service industry.