Baker and Bakery Technologist

Large bakeries today are completely mechanized and in many cases, fully automated. The baker in these plants supervises employees who operate the machinery, which mixes, moulds, proves, bakes, cools and wraps products.

Bakery technologists apply their knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and bakery technology to maintain and improve the quality of baked products.


In small bakeries, more work is done by hand with fewer mechanical devices. This involves selecting the amount and type of flour, yeast and other ingredients and shaping the dough. If necessary, the product is left for a while to prove or rise in the case of bread dough. The product is put into pans and then into ovens to bake.

Confectionery allows for more specialisation and variation than does bread. Many different products, such as tarts, pies, pastries, biscuits, cakes and cookies, can be made, sometimes on a large scale. There is a range of occupations in the baking industry, from the unskilled worker to graduates.

Bakers work with recipes and formulae and flour, yeast, sugar and other ingredients used in manufacturing baked products. There are many instruments used, such as those to measure weights and mass, as well as volume, humidity and time mixers, dividing machines, moulders, provers, ovens and other equipment used to produce baked products, besides pans, bowls and other bakery utensils.

Work environments are varied as kitchens differ according to the type of institution, such as bakeries, hospitals, restaurants, hotels or educational institutions.

Bakery technologists are responsible for controlling quality from raw-material stage to the end product. They test products at various stages of processing.

They conduct research on improving baking methods for mass consumption and develop more efficient ways of storing, packing and distributing products to eliminate or at least reduce spoilage.

They also train production staff in various aspects of bakery technology and supervise staff to ensure proper application of the techniques.


How to Enter

Bakery technologist:

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

Baker:

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate


What to Study

Major baking groups offer in-service training.

Diploma: UJ, CPUT, DUT, TUT

 


Employment

  • large and small wholesale and retail bakeries
  • such companies as BB Cereals, Bokomo, Premier Milling and Baking, Sasko, Sunbake, Tiger Milling and Baking
  • establishments that serve food, such as hotels, hospitals, restaurants and educational institutions
  • chain stores
  • self-employment, setting up own bakery

Further Information

SA Chamber of Baking
P O Box 7408
Centurion, 0046
Tel: (012) 663-1600 Fax: (012) 663-1604
www.sacb.co.za


Getting Started

  • try to obtain part time or holiday work as assistant or clerk in a local bakery
  • take home economics or cookery classes at your school, or a community organisation
  • arrange to visit a large bakery in your area  and speak to a baker or bakery technologist about this type of career