One of the subjects learned by the students at Prue Leith’s is baked goods catering. That’s a wide-ranging subject that can include pies, pastries, cookies, quiches, breads, casseroles, and soufflés. There is nothing that beats the aroma of freshly baked bread, and the pastry module of the Prue Leith Diploma Course is at Master level. In it students get concentrated hands-on training in every aspect of baked goods catering. People have been baking for centuries, in fact it is on record that the Egyptians were baking bread as long ago as 2500 BC and may have actually learned the process from the Babylonians. Baking is not an easy subject to master, and the local environmental conditions at the time of baking can and do affect the finished product. Factors like the humidity and temperature of the kitchen, water hardness and yeast all have to be taken into consideration when baking, and it is only with lots of practice that a student learns how to get consistent results.
If you really want to see what baked goods catering is all about, pay a visit to a patisserie in the Strasbourg region on the French/German border. There you will see a wonderful selection of every imaginable pastry and bread lined up in a mouth-watering display of colour. Baked goods catering is a specialist occupation – it’s not one that comes with any 18 month course – you’ll learn all of the rudiments here, but to be a Master of Patisserie only comes with years of practice.