What to Expect
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Students in the Baking and Pastry Arts diploma program receive training in the art and science of bread, cake and pastry making, including cake design and decorating, confectionary training, artisan-style baking and frozen desserts. In addition to knowing how to prepare many varieties of bread, cake, confectionaries and pastry, graduates are trained in the operation, maintenance and cleaning of bakery equipment.
Trade mathematics are an integral part of the training, allowing graduates to calculate formula changes, product costing, yields and bakers percent. Graduates also learn to determine ingredient substitutions for dietary options, allergies and other restrictions.
Classrooms are used for lectures and group discussions, while fully equipped labs with professional baking production equipment and service facilities are used for hands-on training. A major portion of the instruction takes place in a fully equipped bakery training lab. Classroom instruction involves subjects such as baking theory, business concepts, communication skills, sanitation knowledge, nutrition, safety and equipment and trade calculations.
In the first year of the program, students can expect to learn fundamental concepts, skills and preparation methods, such as
- yeast fermentation to create artisan-style baked products
- cake and cookie fundamentals
- introductory decorating techniques
- production of classical and modern pastries, chocolates and confections
In the second year of the program, students can expect to learn intermediate and advanced techniques as well as business concepts, such as
- how to plan and construct single/mixed media edible art centerpieces
- traditional baking, pastry and confectionary specialties from around the world
- how to adjust formulas for alternative diets
- entrepreneurship, product development and menu creation (with beverage pairings)
Work Experience Component
The Baking and Pastry Arts diploma program also includes a 3-week professional experience. The students may choose from a variety of bake shops, pastry shops and hotels to work at and gain valuable practical experience.
Classroom & Study Hours
Students can expect to spend on average
- 27 hours per week in the classroom
- 8 to 12 hours per week studying and completing class online courses and assignments
- 30 hours per week working during the professional work experience component (hours may include early to late shifts and some weekends)
The Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts is the heart of NAIT's Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies. The centre's state-of-the-art labs give students hands-on experience.
Is This Program For You?
If you enjoy creating things with your hands and enjoy stability and security in your work, you will likely find the Baking and Pastry Arts diploma very rewarding. To be successful, bakers need
- good health
- good physical stamina
- manual dexterity
- the ability to lift up heavy items
- a responsible attitude
- a commitment to ensuring that public health standards are met
As a student in the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies, you’ll get more than just a great hands-on education. There are opportunities to get involved with the school and the community, or even put your skills to work on international trips with Culinary Team NAIT or the International Exchange Program.
- Clubs – the Baking Club lets baking students apply the skills they learn in the classroom and kitchen to make a real impact and to contribute to the community in meaningful ways.
- Video galleries – learn from our instructors, alumni and students and see what our department has to offer.
- Photo galleries – see photos from our recent events.