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What is Patisserie: Different Types and Where to Learn it

16/08/2023

Your love of baking may be something that can lead you to a career as a patissier. If you’re inspired by French culture and all of the beautiful and delicious pastries and baked goods that are just a recipe away, this promising and lucrative career is something worth considering as you embark on your culinary education path. Let’s discuss what is patisserie exactly, as well as how it differs from other similar careers.

What is Pаtisserie Baking?

Patisserie refers to French-inspired pastries as well as the different stores and shops that make and sell them. It originally began in Mediterranean regions but quickly spread to European areas such as France. Patisserie quickly became an art form that is now part of cultures all over the world.

To officially be named a patisserie, a patissier must be employed at that location. This is a chef who is skilled at making a variety of pastries, desserts and baked goods. In addition to working in a dedicated patisserie, a patissier may also be employed in a hotel, restaurant, café or bakery.

Patisserie vs. Boulangerie vs. Pastry: What is Patisserie and What is the Difference?

While there are similarities between patisserie, boulangerie and pastry, each offers their own varieties of baked goods, pastries, etc. If you’re in search of a specific item, like a croissant, you’ll want to know where you should be headed to find the delicacy that you desire. If you’re looking for a career in culinary arts and want to specialize in your craft, let’s discuss these differences.

How Patisserie Differs from Boulangerie?

A boulangerie refers to a French bakery, and it is quite different from a traditional French pastry shop or patisserie. At a boulangerie, you’ll usually find bread that is baked on-site. This includes different varieties such as baguettes, pain de campagne and a large selection of rolls. You won’t find specialized treats and delicacies such as éclairs or macarons. These items will be on the shelves of a patisserie.

When in France, you’ll find that there are a lot more boulangeries sprinkled on the different streets that you travel. Patisseries aren’t quite as common, though you shouldn’t have to travel too far out of your way to find one. It’s also not unheard of to find a shop that is a patisserie and boulangerie all in one.

How Patisserie Differs from Pastry?

A local patisserie may sell pastry creations, but these two words should not be used interchangeably. As we discussed, a patisserie is a French pastry that also describes the location where these pastries are sold. Pastry actually refers to the specific item that is being made or purchased within the patisserie. Popular pastry items include:

  • Macarons
  • Eclairs
  • Croissants
  • Donuts
  • Tarts
  • Scones

Types of Patisserie Baking

To break down the different types of patisserie baking that exist, we will focus on the different forms of dough that are used to make these common creations. This includes:

Puff Pastry

Layers of dough are folded together to create a very light and airy pastry. As the puff pastry bakes, it rises into a delicious final product that has a slightly crispy texture. Puff pastry is very buttery and not overly sweet.

Shortcrust Pastry

A shortcrust pastry is very basic, consisting of just flour, water and some form of fat (usually butter). This is not a dough that contains any kind of yeast or things that help it rise. Some shortcrusts will incorporate sugar to make them a little sweeter.

Choux Pastry

A very full and puffy pastry is created from choux dough. This is the recipe that is used to make popular treats like cream puffs and profiteroles. Usually, choux pastry will be filled with some sort of cream or jelly or topped with a sauce.

Filo Pastry

Filo pastry dough forms into very thin layers. It can be used for sweet desserts like baklava, but it’s also often used for savory dishes like spanakopita.

What Skills Do You Need to Have to Be Good at Patisserie

Paying attention to detail is crucial when you are working at a patisserie. Baking in general requires careful following of recipes and techniques, but patisserie is an art form that calls for a great deal of talent and care.

At a patisserie, you will be working on your feet for many hours each day, requiring you to be in good physical health. It’s also important that you can multi-task, being able to make multiple items at once while other items are baking, cooling, etc.

Depending on your position at a patisserie and what duties you are responsible for, you may need to take part in the management and administration of a patisserie. This can include training and working alongside other professionals, ordering products, planning upcoming menus, and so on.

How and Where It’s Best to Learn Patisserie

Enrolling in pastry courses at a culinary institute is the best way to learn the craft of patisserie. This should allow you to learn as much information as possible in a short period. Otherwise, simply working in the field can result in you spending years learning the different techniques that are required to be a successful and talented patissier.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Patisserie?

It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to learn the basics of patisserie. There are also accelerated courses available at different culinary schools that teach the basics in a shorter period. Some people choose to hone in on patisserie as their craft, while others simply want to make it more of a broad curriculum where they learn about various disciplines.

Conclusion

If elegant and sweet pastry creations are something you’re interested in making as part of your career, having the proper training and experience is important. This will help diversify your options when you step into the field of patisserie. If you would like to learn more about becoming part of a reputable and all-encompassing culinary career that includes different types of patisserie, check out our Culinary Arts program. In this program, HRC Academy partners with the French Ecolle Ducasse to offer an incredible opportunity to live and study in 5 different countries, become part of the global alumni network of two renowned culinary schools and get access to a global and exciting career. All this at an unbeatable price.

Learn more about it on the program page (link above) or get in touch directly via the Apply button in the header menu.

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