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Basics/essential recipes that a pastry chef should know


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#1 QbanCrackr

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

I'll admit, not going to a pastry school may not have exactly hampered my learning, but I would say that I definitely learned how to make things in an unconventional manner. I basically started learning methods, techniques and recipes as I needed to make them. I think the first thing I made was a souffle, then went on to creme brulee, then mousses and so forth.

In any case, I know that I'm definitely missing a good amount of the basics that you learn in pastry school.

I was wondering, if any professionals could chime in with what they think are the essentials that every pastry chef must know how to make.

Thank you
Danny

#2 minas6907

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:34 AM

I'd first advise getting some good text books. CIA's Baking and Pastry is good, as well as On Baking or Professional Baking. Make things your interested in, and try something that would be a challenge to you. With the books, when you think of something you want to make, it will be in one of them. I've found a surprising amount of items that are in one book and not the others. There's different ways of approaching learning pastry. Do you do it for a living, or is it just a hobby? When you try new things you not only attempt making a new item, but you'll learn different things in the process. Out of my own curiosity, whats so.drying that you would say is next on your list of items ti make?

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#3 QbanCrackr

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

I'd first advise getting some good text books. CIA's Baking and Pastry is good, as well as On Baking or Professional Baking. Make things your interested in, and try something that would be a challenge to you. With the books, when you think of something you want to make, it will be in one of them. I've found a surprising amount of items that are in one book and not the others. There's different ways of approaching learning pastry. Do you do it for a living, or is it just a hobby? When you try new things you not only attempt making a new item, but you'll learn different things in the process. Out of my own curiosity, whats so.drying that you would say is next on your list of items ti make?

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Well, I actually do have On Baking & Professional Baking--the CIA book is still on my wishlist. I do this professionally, actually starting with cakes & cupcakes and then quickly expanding the menu to desserts and other items. For example, I know that there are a lot of creams that I don't know how to make. Same goes for sponges. So in that aspect, I guess I should start off with those eh? :wacko:

The only things that immediately come to mind are the variety of sponges (dobos, etc) and the variety of creams (diplomat, chiboust, mousseline, bavarois, etc).

My kitchen isn't air conditioned, so in the summer months it can get quite hot so working with laminated doughs and anything with a lot of butter can be a pain in the butt, so I haven't even attemped those types of things.

I've got to bring out those books next week once work calms down a bit, hehe. I'm just trying to get a grasp of the basics that they would normally teach in the very beginning--for example, I still struggle with making choux. I'm not sure if I end up adding too much egg, whether I'm not drying it enough on the stove or if I'm not baking them long enough. Same goes for macarons. I can never get them to look consistent and pretty (though I bet those are just a lot of practice).

I feel extremely comfortable with cheesecakes, creme brulee, cremeuxs, mousses, curds, gelees, panna cotta, pudding, a few confections (brittle, marshmallow), sauces, a few modern techniques (using agar, xanthan, methocel, alginates, maltodextrin, locust bean gum, and iota/kappa), some cakes and some other things.

What I know I need to work on are definitely working with doughs (sucree, brisee), yeast laminated doughs (croissants, pain au chocolat), but those are the only basics I can think of and definitely the creams
Danny

#4 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:29 AM

There is also one coming out next month on the 26th (my birthday!). It's called Patisserie by Christophe Felder.

I struggle with choux too. Did you see my thread I posted a couple of weeks ago called "Perfect Choux?" You might want to check it out.

#5 Drewman

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:50 AM

All of this:

http://www.thequenel...astry-chef.html
Always speak your mind. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind.

#6 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:17 AM

Here is another one that I completely forgot about. She did an internship with Pierre Herme several years ago and blogged about it. This is her new blog, but she actually did a whole post about the skills required:

http://www.likeastra...-the-checklist/

#7 Lisa Shock

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

I've taught from several books, and I prefer Professional Baking. The CIA book has some good things, but, it's missing some fundamental basic topics and formulas. (There's no white bread, no plain tuile, etc.) When I taught with it, I had to create my own supplemental booklet to give students basic formulas for many standard items. Professional Baking is a better foundation book.

#8 QbanCrackr

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Here is another one that I completely forgot about. She did an internship with Pierre Herme several years ago and blogged about it. This is her new blog, but she actually did a whole post about the skills required:

http://www.likeastra...-the-checklist/

definitely something that will come in handy. thanks!

All of this:

http://www.thequenel...astry-chef.html

many thanks for that link...and one from a great chef at that!

There is also one coming out next month on the 26th (my birthday!). It's called Patisserie by Christophe Felder.

I struggle with choux too. Did you see my thread I posted a couple of weeks ago called "Perfect Choux?" You might want to check it out.

I actually haven't been on here in a while, but I'm definitely going to check it out.

all this is definitely going to help me in building up the basics which i definitely need to do. thanks!
Danny

#9 lebowits

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

I've been a fan for years of "The Bakers Manual" by Joseph Amendola and Nicole Rees.. My "copy" consists of 2 volumes. One is a set of "master formulas" and the other is a companion text which would be the foundation for teaching a class. From what Amazon shows now, it looks like the 2 volumes have been broken apart. But if you're looking for fundamental knowledge, I would consider this.
Steve Lebowitz
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