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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.

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.

Satisfying Aspects
- usually good working conditions and steady employment
- working with people
- satisfaction of seeing the result of your work
- the opportunity to become self-employed

Demanding aspects
- routine nature of the work
- standing for hours at a time
- having to work holidays, nights and weekends
- working in a hot environment

A baker should:
- be willing to perform repetitive tasks
- enjoy working in kitchens
- be artistic - confectioners do decorative work
- be able to get along well with others
- be neat, orderly and able to organize well
- have good health and physical stamina
- have finger and hand dexterity
- be scientifically and technically inclined
- have a good knowledge of basic science and arithmetic for modifying recipes and formulae

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Hospitality Studies, Consumer Studies

Major baking groups offer in-service training.

- 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

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