What Does A Baker Do?
Bakers are professionals who make the delicious breads and pastries that people enjoy in their favorite bakeshops, grocery stores and restaurants. Their task centers mainly on mixing ingredients and following recipes to come up with baked goods. They can work as commercial bakers in manufacturing facilities or as retail bakers in bakeshops and grocery stores. The main difference between the two is that commercial bakers bake goods in large quantities and have to strictly follow set recipes while retail bakers produce baked goods in smaller quantities but in different varieties. The latter also has a lot of room for experimentation so they can come up with unique products.
A typical day for a baker involves checking that the ingredients are available for the recipes that they will produce that day. They also see to it that the ingredients are fresh to ensure the quality of the pies, cupcakes, cakes, breads and other goods. They will then start the process of baking which first involves measuring and weighing the ingredients and then mixing them together. They also knead, roll and shape the dough and cut them to the desired shape if necessary. They also put the dough in molds or put them in baking sheets before placing them in the oven which had previously been preset at the right temperatures.
While the breads are placed in the oven, the baker checks on them from time to time to see if they are cooking properly even as they are busy preparing the other ingredients for the next batch of goodies to be baked. Once the cake is cooked, the baker then removes it from the oven and decorates it with icing, glace and other toppings if the recipe calls for it. After the breads are baked, they are cooled and then placed in the display rack. Cakes may need to be placed in a refrigerated glass display to retain their freshness.
Bakers are required to make it a practice to clean their workstations as they go about their tasks. This is a habit that many of them have ingrained since it allows them to maintain a hygienic environment and consequently, produce not only delicious but sanitary baked goods. They also constantly practice hand washing as they go about their job.
Bakers working in large-scale manufacturing plants must also know how to operate large ovens, commercial mixers and conveyors since these are the tools of their trade. Retail bakers must also have the ability to experiment with new flavors since they need to constantly upgrade their menu in order to stay competitive and be able to offer something new to their regular patrons. In very small specialty shops, the bakers themselves may also have additional responsibilities in the counter selling the baked goods. They may even serve customers in some restaurants.
In addition to making sweet delicacies, bakers also order and receive supplies and ingredients as soon as they are delivered. They check their inventory regularly to ensure that orders are made and received in a timely manner. Bakers who also own their businesses also do other non-baking tasks. For example, they set prices on their baked goods and decide on how many of each kind of baked goods should be produced for the day. They also oversee the operational budget of the shop and conduct regular accounting of expenses and profits.
Bakers with their own bakeries also take care of hiring personnel and training them. They may need to employ cashiers, waiters and additional personnel to keep the shop running. If business is good and the baker-owner decides to open another branch, he may need to hire a manager to take care of the daily operations in addition to employing other bakers to work in the bakeshop.
Bakers have to be especially dedicated in their craft because the job entails working in a hot environment. Burns and cuts are also common among bakers. They also need to be able to lift heavy trays filled with baked goods as well as be able to lift sacks of flour which is the main ingredient in producing baked products. Aside from having a knack for making sweet confections, bakers also need to have a penchant for making accurate measurements as this is necessary to producing delicious cakes, pastries, cookies, breads and other sweets.