What’s holding you back from pursuing an education in baking?
Is it the logistics? Maybe there are no baking schools nearby. Or maybe you don’t see how you could fit an education in with your full time job. After all, you’ve got bills to pay!
Online baking school may be the answer. In this article, you can find out how you can explore the baking and pastry arts online. And, discover whether you’re the type of student who may be best suited to this learning environment.
How Does Online Baking School Work?
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is a pioneer in online culinary and baking education. In fact, we were the first U.S accredited institution to offer 100% online degrees and diplomas with culinary classes and hands-on industry externships.**
But how can you possibly learn how to bake online?
Escoffier’s online baking school is a multi-format program designed to help deliver both the theoretical and practical knowledge students may need to succeed in their careers.
Students begin with assigned reading and video content. This can help to provide context and terminology surrounding new techniques. They also attend live sessions with their classmates, led by expert Chef Instructors. These sessions include both lectures and demonstrations, and can give students a chance to ask questions in real time.
Then it’s time to practice! Escoffier students complete their weekly assignments from their home kitchens. They’ll document their progress with photos and notes along the way, which they’ll then submit to their Chef Instructor. The Instructor will assess the assignment based on student photos and summaries, including their thoughts on flavor and texture. Students then get personalized video feedback and suggestions for improvement.
This system asks the student to take a key role in analyzing the baking process and the quality of what they’ve produced. Beyond the baking, they also develop the language needed to describe their creations, using the Escoffier Flavor Wheel to help.
Online Baking School May Be Right For You If…
There Are No Baking Schools Nearby, And You Don’t Want to Relocate
If you don’t live in a major city, there may not be a baking and pastry program near your home. Uprooting your life and moving to a new city or town to attend school can be a huge disruption to your life, requiring you to find a new home or apartment, a new job, new friends.
When you attend baking school online, you can have the opportunity to learn from home—no matter where your home is. As long as you have reliable internet service, access to a kitchen, and a grocery store for supply shopping, you can make online education work.
You Don’t Have Time to Commute Back and Forth
If you do live in a city with an on-campus baking school, you still face the daily commute. For some, this is no problem. They either live near the school, or they have the time and means to make the trip.
But for others, that commute may create a burden in transportation costs and time, especially with rising gas prices and increased urban density leading to more traffic. Online baking school removes the commute from the equation. Just fire up your laptop and you’re ready to get started!
“It was a desire of mine for many years to attend culinary school. Due to where I live and my personal responsibilities, I could not attend culinary school in person since the closest onsite school was a two-hour drive. I am most proud of my ability to complete the classes and assignments while working full time, caring for loved ones, and participating in church events.”*
Sharon Watts, Online Culinary Arts Graduate
You Need a Flexible Schedule
On-campus baking programs usually require students to be present for a large part of the day. Classes can begin early and continue until late afternoon, sometimes making it difficult for students to fit school into their work or family schedules. However, some on-campus baking school programs, like Escoffier, offer more flexible in-person class times. Escoffier ground campus students can have access to some morning, afternoon and evening classes.
That being said, if you need to keep your days free for work or childcare, then online education can be a perfect fit. Escoffier’s online programs can allow you to complete your schoolwork when it’s convenient for you, as long as you meet program deadlines. You can work mid-morning, early evening, middle of the night—whenever you want.
You Want to Start a Home-Based Bakery
Not every aspiring baker wants to work in a retail or wholesale environment. Many have the entrepreneurial spirit, and they want to start their own home baking businesses. If this is your dream, why not practice in the same place you’ll be working—at home?
This does not mean that you shouldn’t attend baking school online if you do want to work in a bakery or restaurant. Online students and on-campus students at Escoffier complete very similar programs. And online baking school students may be able to fill in some gaps—like using commercial baking equipment—in their industry externships, where they can have the opportunity to work in a real bakery.
“In ground schools, if you mess up, it’s easy to go grab more butter, more flour, more sugar. Whereas in people’s homes, that’s not always possible. They may have to run to the store. It could get expensive. An unintended benefit [is our online students] are very aware of controlling costs, which is a huge bonus to employers. So there’s a lot of attention to detail that translates very well for employers.”*
Anne Lanute, Escoffier Online Executive Chef, Baking and Pastry
Where Can You Get a Job After Online Baking School?
While the format of online school is different from on-campus school, the foundational skills honed in both are very similar, since the programs both include coursework in sanitation, baking math, beginning and advanced baking techniques, and cost control.
This means that online baking school graduates can become qualified for the same entry-level roles as on-campus students. While individual employers may have their own preferences (number of years of experience, an associate degree, etc.), graduates can generally be eligible for the same types of positions, regardless of their campus choice.
Escoffier online baking graduates have gone on to work in restaurants, bakeries, and pastry shops, as well as to start their own brick-and-mortar or home-based bakeries.
“I think the biggest benefit of going through the online program rather than a traditional ground campus is that when you’re cooking in your home, you don’t always have all the equipment [or] ingredients. That is what it is actually like in a professional kitchen. [There’s] always a wonky blender, or a pilot light that always goes out. You’ve got to make it work.*
Luke Shaffer, Escoffier Online Chef Instructor
You Could Start School Next Session!
Attending baking school doesn’t have to take over your life. No need to quit your job, uproot your family, or wake up earlier than you want to make it to class on time. You can get a high-quality, thorough baking education from your own home kitchen—if you’ve got the determination to see it through.
And if you’ve read this far, you just might have what it takes.
Ready for the next step? Contact us for more program details. You could start baking school online as soon as the next session!
Enjoyed this article? Check out these others:
- How Online Pastry School Works
- Six Skills Every Baker Should Have
- How Full-Time, Working Adults Can Succeed in Online Learning
*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.
**Our Boulder, CO campus is the only accredited institution in the United States to offer both fully online diploma and degree programs with culinary classes and hands-on industry externships. We are accredited by ACCET – A Partnership for Quality®. ACCET is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.