The pastry kitchen attracts an interesting type of person. These people tend to be highly creative, organized and can range from little bit obsessive to complete OCD. Baking is a lot of work and takes a strong personality that is willing to take risks. Lets take a look at 5 necessary skills to make it.
1. Attention to Detail
There is a reason I listed this first on the list. Every detail is important, if not the most important thing. From ingredients and process of a recipe, to assembling the final dessert- pay attention to the small things. If your measurements are off or your oven is a little bit to hot you will end up with poor results. Pastry is all about the details: piping each rosette of butter cream the same every time, tempering chocolate to specific temperatures and making each dessert identical.
Pastry has the most potential for creativity out of any station in the kitchen. There are endless combinations of flavors, both sweet and savory. There's bright colors to play with, beautiful cakes to make and many techniques to master. It will take some trail and error to figure out what works, but with so many things to choose from the only real limitation is your own creativity.
3. Patience and Dedication
Show stopping desserts tend to be the most labor intensive. It takes time to freeze a mousse that will be placed inside of another type of mousse, and then it has to freeze again so it can be glazed. Doughnuts need to rise, and then rise again before they can be fried. Time and patience are your most important ingredients, because the most important steps cannot be rushed.
4. Organization, Planning and Efficiency
As I have mentioned in point number 3, pastry takes time. So its super important to plan your day correctly! Knowing how long each recipe takes, or if its a multi- day process and factoring that into your daily routine will set you up for success. If bread takes 2 hours to rise, start that first, and bang out the quicker tasks while you wait.
5. Ability to Teach Others
People management skills are a must. The best way to really learn something yourself is by teaching it to others. Learn to guide less experienced staff through the basics and gradually give them more complicated tasks. This will help build a strong team that can be relied on because everyone knows whats going on and can jump in and help when its needed.