A Pastry Chef and A Baker


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How well do you know who are making your breads, pastries and assorted desserts in your favorite bakeshop? What do you think is the distinction in terms of titles and auhtority between a Pastry Chef and a Baker? For you what is the difference between a Pastry Chef and a Baker?
 
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My favorite bakery is a local one which is owned and operated by an older gentleman who has been a baker for his entire life - and his father was also a baker before him. I love that it's a family business so I do know him quite well. I do sometimes buy baked goods that are commercially produced (ie. bread or cake from a supermarket) but I honestly prefer to get my baked goods at smaller, family run style bakeries. Supporting small businesses is something I value, both from a craftsmanship point of view (made individually by a professional baker rather than mass produced in a factory) and also from a helping to keep a family business alive point of view!
 
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To me, a baker would be someone who excels in baking a variety of typical baked goods that are sold in a bakery. A pastry chef, to me, would be someone who specializes in elaborate and detailed pastries, ones with exotic fillings, multiple layers, etc., versus baking cookies, cakes and breads.
 
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My SO is a baker by trade, though he had some sort of allergy to flour (I know! Irony!) so he had to stop, but basically, at least in Germany, a baker learns how to be super fast, multitask, bake bread from very early in the morning, sometimes in the middle of the night. He had to make different kinds of bread (Germany has really a lot of different varieties), and he also made sweet dough pastries (like, croissant and chocolatines), and did learn how to make other baked desserts, but they were not really "his job".

My cousin is a pastry chef (I mean, in French the difference is clear cut: boulanger vs patissier), he creates and makes dessert. He also needs to be fast and all that stuff, but for this he has to be a bit more creative than just having two hands kneading two doughs as if on automaton. In general, he does not make bread.
 
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When I think of a pastry chef I think of someone who is an expert baking all the known and not so well known baked goods, and most likely specializes in french bakery? While a baker is just someone who is really good at baking some really well known baked goods, I am sure the people who bake all the stuff I lie at my local bakery shop are bakers. But since finding a decent job here is hard... I'd not be surprised if one of them turned out to be a pastry chef.
 
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unfortunately there aren't any family run style bakeries anywhere close to me,so I wouldn't know

sad isn't it ?
 
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