The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Work in a bakery as a beginner

Kaleibakes's picture

Work in a bakery as a beginner

Hi everyone, I hope I can get some advice from you about working in a bread bakery.

I am a 27 year old woman now. I always have a passion about bread, and a dream to open a small bread bakery with my sister (who has experience in baking) before I reach my 31 year old. I sometimes played with dough at home but not professional at all but I really want to make it happen. Few months ago, I decided to quit my job ( it was nothing to do with baking) to learn how to make bread at school. Since the program is only 1 month left, I need to plan for my next move.

I clearly understand that I am lacking of experience in this industry in term of the baking skill and operation skill, I need to find a job to learn more about this industry. The question is should I start in a small local bakery or a bakery in a hotel? I got an offer to work in a very good hotel but I think I might not be even qualified to bake. They likely just want me to do some physical works, like preparing ingredients, mixing, cleaning etc. If I work in a local bakery, it should be earlier to have chance to work with different tasks, that might help me to understand how to manage a bakery faster. I know there are many experience bakers here, appreciate if you can give me some good advice. 


gwschenk's picture

They likely just want me to do some physical works, like preparing ingredients, mixing, cleaning etc.

Yeah, that's where you'll start. A lot of work in a production bakery is tedious, monotonous and will bore you to tears. Don't romanticize it.

BTW, mixing is the most important skill, IMHO.

The payoff is not monetary, but knowing you are creating great bread that feeds people.

mutantspace's picture

heres my tuppence:

i spent weeks working, for free, in an artisan bakery baking bread and pastries. I just wanted to learn more. There are no apprenticeships in Ireland and i saw this as my only way in. Offer of free labour for time spent. It was hard and we worked from midnight to 8 - 9am however. I learnt alot especially about flour, temperature and shaping. As already noted its often laborious and you quickly learn that everything has its time and place, every night the same due to restrictions and scheduling. We worked to order so there was a lot of repetition.

Having said that working with your hands, feeling flour, being tactile and smelling baking bread all night is fantastic. Sleeping during the day, saying goodbye to your daytime friends and adjusting your life around the bakery is tough. Ive also worked in many kitchens and there too you have to learn the basics first. Without them you're building your castle on sand.