Whether you are just learning to cook or very experienced baking classes can be a great way to hone your skills and learn new ones. Almost everyone has access to baking and cooking classes of some sort, although it may take a bit of research to find exactly what you are looking for.
There are several types of classes that may be available to you:
- Bread baking classes usually cover the basics of bread making and working with yeast doughs. Depending on how many classes are included you may also learn about more complex yeast doughs like brioche, laminated dough, and breads from starters and poolish.
- Pastry classes will often cover pies and tarts as well as working with puff pastries, phyllo dough, and choux pastry.
- Cake classes will cover the various types of cakes, leavening used, and techniques that need to be mastered to create butter cakes, angel food cakes, and pound cakes. Sometimes they will include basic decorating. More detailed decorating is generally covered in a class specifically for decorating.
- General baking will cover the basics of many types of baking and techniques.
- Children' s baking classes are fun for kids. They give your child an understanding of the techniques of baking while providing an outlet for their creativity.
So,now you are pretty sure you want to take a class, but where can you find one?
Finding Baking Classes Locally
- One of the best places to take baking classes is at the local community college. While not all community colleges offer these classes many do have a culinary arts program or offer continuing education classes. If you live in a large city with many different satellite campuses not every campus will offer the classes. Call the main number to the college to find out if they have baking classes.
- Another place to check for classes would be at culinary suppliers and retailers like Williams Sonoma. Often small, local kitchen supply stores will have demonstrations and baking lessons certain evenings. Some are ongoing while others are meant as a single class.
- If there is a WholeFoods near you give them a call. Many of them have weekly classes and demonstrations. They change seasonally so be sure to ask about upcoming classes.
- Continuing education classes through high schools and city recreational centers can also be helpful as well as fun.
- Depending on what you are looking for, as far as classes, you may also want to consider simply asking someone you know who bakes a fantastic loaf of bread if they will teach you.
Classes in Large Cities
If you live near a large metropolitan area you may have access to a cooking and baking school. Although these schools offer food industry degrees, sometimes they have camps or classes that can be taken without doing course work. Some of the cities with baking classes:
- Culinary Institute of New York
- Institute of Culinary Education
- French Culinary Institute
Baking Classes in San Francisco
- San Francisco Baking Institute
- Sur la Table (in many cities)
Baking Classes Seattle
- Dish It Up!
- Bon Vivant
- South Seattle Community College
Baking Classes Los Angeles
- Gourmandise Desserts
- Culinary Classroom
Baking Classes Chicago
- Kendall College
- Le Dessert
No matter where you live, if you are close to a large city there is sure to be a class available. But, what if you live miles from a baking class?
There are all kind of baking classes available online for free. If you go to YouTube, for example, there are literally hundreds of demo videos that can help you learn everything from making the perfect pie crust to a series of pastry and bread baking courses. King Arthur Flour has bread baking classes online as well.
The main thing to remember about online classes is that you need to be aware of what type of learner you are. Some people will learn best from videos while others will do well by reading the instructions. Try to find classes that cater to your learning style.
With thousands of food blogs on the Internet there is no lack of information about baking. The best way to learn to bake well, whether it is pastry or bread, is to just get the mixer out and start baking.