The New Bakers Dozen
Whats the difference?

The The Bakers Dozen: Whats the difference?
By flower on Sunday, October 01, 2000 - 06:51 pm: Edit

This might sound really stupid, but if you would at least hear me through, I will love you forever. I'm not a professional baker or anything, since I'm only in the 8th grade, but we have to do a career project for science and i chose 'baker' as my career. Here's the part where I sound really stupid: what is the difference between a baker and a pastry chef? And how is science used in baking? Humor me please, I dont want to fail science this year. thanx a bunch.

By Ardis (Ardis) on Monday, October 02, 2000 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Hi Flower,
In my opinion Bakers do mostly bread and american style desserts: carrot cake, brownies, oatmeal cookies etc. Pastry chefs on the other hand do finer, more time consuming products like mousse cakes, petits fours, macaroons etc. Pastry chefs also learn skills like working with pastillage and chocolate to make presentation pieces.
Science is very important in baking to understand why things work as they do. For example: a buttercream is an emulsion between egg white for example and butter. You need to know how emulsions form inorder to know how to avoid curdling this buttercream or fixing it if it does curdle. Good luck, hope this was some help!

By flower on Monday, October 02, 2000 - 08:16 pm: Edit

oh, it was. thanks!

By W.DeBord on Monday, October 02, 2000 - 08:23 pm: Edit

I think of the baker as the fine craftsman and the pastry chef as the artist of the media of baking. A pastry chef better be able to do the job of a baker but not all bakers can do the job of being the pastry chef.?

Hope those weren't fighting words????!

By Quartet (Quartet) on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 09:11 am: Edit

If you're interested in a good resource on the science of food, go to your local library and look up Harold McGee's ON FOOD AND COOKING: THE SCIENCE AND LORE OF THE KITCHEN. His book has a substantial yet concise chapter on the science involved in the making of bread and has some information on pastry making as well. It's quite readable and will give you a good idea how complex the subject can be. Good luck with your project.

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