Whether you are just starting a career in artisan baking or want to move into management with a commercial bread manufacturer, you'll find many ways to benefit from professional bread education and training. You can attend workshops, participate in online or video training, become certified as a commercial baker and even get a degree in bread making. Programs incorporate everything from basic bread chemistry to industrial production and marketing.
Because bread education and training programs can require a significant investment of your dough and time, you'll want to determine which program is best for you.
1. Choose a traditional culinary arts education, or even a college degree in bread making, if you're planning a career as a bread and pastry chef or artisanal baker.
2. Look for a commercial bread bakers certification program if you'll be working in commercial or industrial bakery operations.
3. Explore the bread education and training resources offered online by bakery trade groups and bread companies.
Get a culinary arts education specializing in bread makingAlthough many food service operations rely heavily on such shortcuts as wholesale frozen breads, par baked bread and wholesale bread mixes, there will always be employment opportunities for well-trained traditional bakers and pastry chefs. Culinary institutes offer a variety of bread education and training programs.
Western Culinary Institute in Portland OR offers Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking education for bread bakers, with a 36-week diploma program.
Expand your bread education and training into a degreeA number of colleges and universities offer degree programs that concentrate on preparation of bread products. An Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science degree from one of these programs can prepare you for a higher level career with a commercial or retail bakery, bread manufacturer or restaurant.
Johnson & Wales University, with several U.S. locations, offers an A.S. or B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts, as well as a combined B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. Kendall College in Chicago offers a 6-quarter A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry; the college has its own open-air baking hearth, and programs are supervised by certified Master Bakers.
Take advantage of professional certification programs for commercial bread makersCareers in commercial baking, whether working for bread manufacturers, bread wholesalers, commercial bakeries or retail operations, often require certification. Certification programs help provide on-the-job experience for those coming out of culinary arts schools, and develop deeper technical expertise in those who have a background in bread making but lack theoretical education.
Retail Bakers of America provides information on and training for four levels of commercial bread making certification: Journey Baker (CJB), Baker (CB), Decorator (CD) and Master Baker (CMB). IDDBA, the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, offers a 5-course Bakery Training and Certificate Program on video. Courses include information on bakery marketing, managing a supermarket bakery department and other commercial bread topics, and IDDBA members receive a discount.
Advance in the art of bread makingArtisan breadmaking is a hot trend in the bakery and food service market, and you can improve your chances of employment with specialized training. Another way to explore the art of making bread is bread education and training programs offered by bread companies.
The San Francisco Baking Institute's Bread and Pastry Professional Training Program specializes in artisanal bread making. Small classes in a state-of-the-art facility are offered on a full- or part-time basis. Bakers of all experience levels are welcome to participate in classes and workshops at the Norwich CT Baking Education Center sponsored by King Arthur Flour, one of the leading manufacturers of bread flour and baking mixes.
- Membership in a bakery trade association, either as an individual or through your employer, can earn you a discount on bread education and training programs.