If you’re considering taking a professional bread making course in the UK, you’re undoubtedly feeling overwhelmed because there’s so much to think about! “Which one is the best baking college?” “What will I study in each course?” and “Is this the ideal baking course for me?” And, while I don’t have answers to all of your inquiries, you can utilise this list of professional bread baking courses in the UK to narrow down your options.
These courses are not aimed at the home baking audience. They are written and performed by bread baking specialists so you can become a professional baker or bakery business owner.
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Is a professional baking course right for me?
To start out in the baking industry you have two options; 1) Work at a bakery that offers apprenticeships or full training, 2) Take a professional bread baking course.
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The first option will pay you whilst you learn. It’s a great way to learn however you are constricted to the products and skills at that particular bakery. A professional bread baking course will teach you many more baking skills, techniques and you’ll learn more about the science behind the process. You are also likely to learn about patisserie and other bakery products along the way. I recommend the recognised education route, but the courses are expensive and take from a few months to 2-3 years.
If you take the “learn on the job route”, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful bakery career. It’ll just take a bit more motivation to fill any gaps in your knowledge and perhaps move bakeries later on to learn more processes and skills.
I’ve also provided a list of short professional baking courses. These mini-courses are designed to support you in starting a bakery business or filling in potential gaps in your experience. There is also a selection of baking books that explain the science behind baking bread which supplement any of the courses on this page.
Professional bread baking courses
These courses require a lot of commitment, so selecting the right one is important. Here is a collection of the most popular baking courses in the UK and what they specialise in.
The School of Artisan Food
Probably the biggest artisan bread school in the Uk, The School of Artisan Food provides an advanced diploma in artisan baking. This intensive 6-month course is accredited by FDQ and equivalent to a foundation degree. You’ll learn everything to be an artisan baker and how to set up a thriving bakery of your own.
Le Cordon Bleu
Cordon Bleu is the most recognised culinary training school in the world. For wannabe professional bakers they offer a 7 ½ month course. After completion, you will receive an industry-recognised Diplôme de Boulangerie. The course provides everything you need to gain a job as a highly-skilled baker in the industry and even start your own. Topics include; shaping and baking bread, preferments, interrupted baking processes and includes a food hygiene certificate.
London South Bank University – Southwark
The LSBU National Bakery School offers 1, 2 and 3-year courses in baking. The most prestigious is the BSc honorary degree in Baking science and technology. Expect to become an expert in everything to do with bread baking including a particular enthesis on the science of baking. This course is recommended for those wishing to take a scientific or factory route in bread baking, or if you just want to know everything about bread and pastry.
Brook food – no classes currently
Brook food is the leading equipment supplier in the UK baking industry. Taking their baking course means you’ll be able to learn with a range of baking equipment. Sadly, I can’t see any current enrollments, but you can register interest on the Brook food bakery school website.
Reaseheath College -Nantwich, Cheshire
Reaseheath college offers a level 3 diploma in professional baking. It’s a one-year programme which covers bread baking, patisserie, chocolate making and cake decorating. You’ll also receive your health and safety qualifications, making you ready for employment right after completion. You also have the option to progress onto a foundation degree in bakery and patisserie technology.
South Eastern Regional College – Northern Ireland
SERC provides a level 2 diploma in professional bakery at its Lisburn campus. You’ll learn a wide range of bread, pastry, confectionery and cake decoration techniques. The course revolves around a classroom and the training kitchen.
Moulton College in Northamptonshire contains a Food and Drink Innovation Centre equipped with an industry-standard bakery, food technology suite, sensory rooms for product development and micro-brewery. Take their diploma level 3 course to learn all baking skills including; pre-baking, baking, post-baking, presenting bakery products as well as confectionery, cake decorating and chocolate making.
Leiths school of food and wine
Leiths school of food and wine claims to be the No1 cookery school in the Uk as voted by The Independent, The Guardian and Country Life. I have not been able to see any evidence of this, perhaps it was years ago. They offer a chef skills certificate in patisserie over an intensive 10-week course. If you are already a competent bread baker, this could be a great way to start producing world-class pastry as well!
If you are just looking to brush up on your skills in certain areas of baking, these baking schools are ideal environments to learn amongst other professionals. Be it viennoiserie, sourdough or bakery business management you’ll find the right course for your needs to make the next step.
Professional baker and owner of the Panary, Paul Merry offers several short courses in Dorset. Courses include:
- Advanced baking skills
- Going professional
- Nordic and germanic baking
He also offers consultancy to help your bakery business get off the ground.
If you are looking for a bread, patisserie or chocolate making course in Devon, Ashburton Cookery School has a vast selection of courses. The amount of techniques you will learn in these short courses is incredible.
Nelson Artisan School
Nelson Artisan School offers several courses from their bakery in Alcester. These include:
- Let’s make pizza
- Sourdough bread
- Two day sourdough and patisserie course
- Classic pastry
- Pastry masterclass
- Nordic baking
- Baking, pastry and patisserie course
The School of Artisan Food
The School of Artisan Food also offers several short baking courses. These include:
- Advanced bread baking
- French baking
- Wood fired oven baking
- Advanced bread baking
- Scandinavian baking