Pastry maker

A pastry maker

Description

Pastry makers create, decorate and present delectable desserts – cakes, pastries and pies – to customers in fine-dining restaurants, grocery stores and at weddings or anniversary parties. They also order ingredients and supplies for their restaurants or catering businesses, hire employees to assist them and maintain records of sales and expenses.

A pastry maker’s duties include, but are not limited to the following tasks:

  • Prepare a wide variety of goods such as cakes, cookies, pies, bread etc. following traditional and modern recipes
  • Create new and exciting desserts to renew our menus and engage the interest of customers
  • Decorate pastries using different icings, toppings etc. to ensure the presentation will be beautiful and exciting
  • Monitor stocks for baking ingredients such as flour, sugar etc. and make appropriate orders within budget
  • Check quality of material and condition of equipment and devices used for cooking
  • Guide and motivate pastry assistants and bakers to work more efficiently Identify staffing needs and help recruit and train personnel
  • Maintain a lean and orderly cooking station and adhere to health and safety standards

Working conditions

Forty-six percent of all chefs, including pastry makers, worked in full-service restaurants as of 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes fine dining establishments. Pastry makers usually often work 12-hour days, spending many hours on their feet in hot, crowded kitchens. They arrive at work in the early morning hours to prepare the pastries and receive shipments, and spend late afternoon or early evening hours planning the next day’s menu items. The occasional cuts, scrapes and burns are some of the primary job hazards, but injuries are rarely serious.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to pastry maker:

pastry production operator
pastry cook
pastry production worker

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or a certificate in culinary arts, pastry-making, baking, or relevant field is generally required to work as pastry maker. A significant work experience within the food industry as a pastry maker, baker, or relevant role can increase career advancement perspectives.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Pastry maker is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Pastry maker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to pastry maker.

pasta maker
baker
baking operator
extract mixer tester
confectioner

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of pastry maker.

  • Crafting: The ability to work with the hands in order to create something artistic.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of pastry maker.

  • Monitor flour unloading equipment: Monitor flour unloading equipment and flour processing systems. Ensure ingredients are delivered on time.
  • Maintain cutting equipment: Maintenance of the cutting equipment (knives, cutters, and other elements).
  • Care for food aesthetic: Convey presentation and aesthetic elements into the production of food. Cut products properly, manage right quantities into the product, care for the attractiveness of the product.
  • Monitor machine operations: Observing machine operations and evaluating product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
  • Store raw food materials: Keep in reserve raw materials and other food supplies, following stock control procedures.
  • Apply flame handling regulations: Apply the laws and organisation rules for the safe storage and use of flammables.
  • Manufacturing of confectionery: Managing the development and production of bakers’ confectionery, also called flour confections, including pastries, cakes, and similar baked goods.
  • Clean food and beverage machinery: Clean machinery used for food or beverage production processes. Prepare the appropriate solutions for cleaning. Prepare all parts and assure that they are clean enough to avoid deviation or errors in the production process.
  • Bake goods: Perform all tasks for baking such as oven preparation and product loading, until the baked goods are discharged from it.
  • Bake confections: Bake cakes, tarts and confectioneries using ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, and butter or oil, with some varieties also requiring liquid such as milk or water and leavening agents such as yeast or baking powder. Add flavourful ingredients like fruit purées, nuts or extracts and numerous substitutions for the primary ingredients.
  • Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Check quality of products on the production line: Check products for quality on the production line and remove defective items before and after packaging.
  • Administer ingredients in food production: Ingredients to be added and the required amounts according to the recipe and the way those ingredients are to be administered.
  • Make artistic food creations: Use ingredients, mixes and instruments to create artistic food preparations e.g. cakes. Be imaginative and resourceful, and combine colours and shapes to good effect. Turn designs into reality, caring for aesthetic and presentation.
  • Operate moulding of doughs: Operate moulding by crafting or using different equipment to have a certain shape of doughs.
  • Monitor operations of cleaning machines: Monitor the operation of cleaning equipment; stop machines or immediately notify supervisors should incidents or malfunctions occur.
  • Work according to recipe: Perform tasks in food preparation according to recipe or specification in order to preserve the quality of ingredients and to ensure replication accuracy of the recipe. Select the appropriate materials to follow the recipe, taking into account the current situation.
  • Set up machine controls: Set up or adjust machine controls to regulate conditions such as material flow, temperature, or pressure.
  • Select adequate ingredients: Select adequate ingredients based in their technological function to execute ideas. Strive for consistent good quality of the ingredients and use them adequately to obtain a satisfactory final product.
  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
  • Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Monitor temperature in farinaceous processes: Monitor and control the temperature in the different phases of farinaceous processes such as fermentation, proofing, and baking. Adhere to specifications or recipes.
  • Ensure correct use of bakery equipment: Use the utensils, machinery and equipment for the production of bakery and farinaceous products such as kneading machines, proofing equipment, vessels, knives, baking ovens, slicers, wrappers, mixers, and glazers. Keep all tools in good condition.
  • Measure precise food processing operations: Carry out accurately measured assignments with suitable tools and equipment in the process of producing food and beverages.
  • Operate weighing machine: Work with a weighing machine to measure raw, half-finished and finished products.
  • Operate kneading of food products: Perform all kinds of kneading operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.
  • Operate mixing of food products: Perform all kinds of mixing operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pastry maker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Food safety principles: Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.
  • Bakery ingredients: The raw materials and other ingredients used in baked goods.
  • Fermentation processes of food: Conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process happens using bacteria or yeasts, or a combination of the two under anaerobic conditions. Food fermentation is also involved in the process of leavening bread and the process of producing lactic acid in foods such as dry sausages, sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kimchi.
  • Milling machines: Milling and mills and their operation in theory and practice.
  • Mill operations: Details of milling operations related to grind size, particle size distribution, heat evolution. Milling processes for different cereals and grains.
  • Bakery production methods: The bakery production methods used to make baked products such as leaven, unleaven, sour dough, and predough.
  • Processes of foods and beverages manufacturing: Raw materials and production processes for getting finished food products. Importance of quality control and other techniques for the food and beverage industry.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pastry maker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Develop new food products: Conduct experiments, produce sample products, and perform research as part of new food product development (NPD).
  • Operate a heat treatment process: Apply heat treatment aimed at preparing and preserving half-finished or finished food products.
  • Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
  • Keep inventory of goods in production: Keep inventory of goods whether they are goods in the front end (i.e. raw materials), intermediate, or back end (i.e. finished products). Count goods and store them for the following production and distribution activities.
  • Manage delivery of raw materials: Receive raw materials from the suppliers. Check their quality and accuracy and move them into the warehouse. Make sure that raw materials are adequately stored until they are required by the production department.
  • Perform chemical experiments: Perform chemical experiments with the aim of testing various products and substances in order to draw conclusions in terms of product viability and replicability.
  • Follow written instructions: Follow written directions in order to perform a task or carry out a step-by-step procedure.
  • Negotiate terms with suppliers: Identify and work with suppliers to ensure quality of supply and best price has been negotiated.
  • Analyse trends in the food and beverage industries: Investigate trends in foodstuffs related to consumers preferences. Examine key markets based on both product type and geography as well as technological improvements in the industry.
  • Execute chilling processes to food products: Carry out chilling, freezing and cooling operation processes to food products such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, catering food. Prepare food products for extended periods of storage or half prepared food. Ensure safety and nutrition qualities of frozen goods and preserve products in accordance with specified temperatures.
  • Tend bakery ovens: Operate ovens using the right thermal regime to bake different types of dough and maintain equipment in order to ensure effective and correct operation.
  • Improvise to occuring food processing situations: Adapt a flexible approach to occuring problems in the process of creating food and beverages.
  • Negotiate improvement with suppliers: Build a good relation with suppliers in order to improve knowledge and quality of supply.
  • Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
  • Follow hygienic procedures during food processing: Ensure a clean working space according to hygienic standards in the food processing industry.
  • Lift heavy weights: Lift heavy weights and apply ergonomic lifting techniques to avoid damaging the body.
  • Administer lactic ferment cultures to manufacturing products: Add specified quantity of lactic ferment cultures to food preparations such as pasteurised milk to obtain starter for sour dairy products, such as buttermilk, cheese, and sour cream. Also, to dough making in bakery.
  • Secure goods according to work orders: Fasten bands around stacks or articles, prior to shipment or storage.
  • Create new recipes: Combine innovative and creative ideas to come up with new recipes and preparations to extend the product of range of a company. Make modifications to recipes in order to enhance taste, reach productivity goals, develop and improve products.
  • Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
  • Dispose food waste: Dispose or collect food waste with the purpose of recycling or throwing away from the production process. Follow established procedures for their disposal taking care of the environment and the safety matters according to legislations.
  • Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.
  • Work in a food processing team: Collaborate in a team with other food processing professionals in service of the food & beverages industry.
  • Analyse characteristics of food products at reception: For instance, dairy for butter-making will have to be sampled for butterfat analysis and its payments would be based on the butterfat content of the milk.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
  • Exert quality control to processing food: Ensure the quality of all factors involved in a food production process.
  • Label samples: Label raw material/product samples for laboratory checks, according to implemented quality system.
  • Follow verbal instructions: Have the ability to follow spoken instructions received from colleagues. Strive to understand and clarify what is being requested.

ISCO group and title

7512 – Bakers, pastry-cooks and confectionery makers


References
  1. ESCO
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Pastry Chef Job Description – Betterteam
  4. Pay and Work Conditions for Pastry Chef – Chron
  5. Featured image: Photo by Los Muertos Crew
Last updated on June 8, 2022

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