Six bakers seek the title Best Baker in America. This week’s episode focuses on pastry. Who will create flaky perfection?
The new Food Network show, Best Baker in America isn’t the typical food competition. This baking show is about technique and baking ability. Luckily, the show explains a lot of the terminology. This week’s episode could use a lot of explaining for the novice bakers watching. Or, do you know the difference between a pate au choux and a crème chiboust?
Best Baker in America, photo from Food Network
The synopsis for this week’s episode states
"The six remaining bakers must make perfect mini fruit tarts using pate sucree, or sweet pastry, in the Skills Challenge. Then, for the Master Challenge, the bakers are given their hardest task yet: their original version of a St Honore Cake, which must contain elements of puff pastry, pate au choux, and creme chiboust, as well as feature the required flavor of coffee. One baker is sent home by host Adam Rapoport and judges Jason Smith and Marcela Valladolid."
While I doubt that I will be making a St Honore Cake at home, I will enjoy watching and learning during this episode. Like last week’s macarons, I marvel at the skill that these bakers have. It is one of the reasons why I’m willing to spend $3 on a tiny little cookie.
Recently, the internet has been stirring the pot over a particular judge’s credentials. Personally, I think that this criticism isn’t necessary. Pastry school doesn’t make you an excellent baker or a knowledgeable baker. Yes, those classes help bakers gain knowledge on baking, but they must apply that knowledge. A pastry school degree doesn’t make you a great baker.
Also, being a good baker doesn’t require a pastry school diploma. While baking is different than a savory chef, people can, and do, learn outside of an academic setting. Many professional chefs never went to culinary school, yet they are extremely successful. Bakers can be knowledgeable and successful without a big white hat and diploma.
Are you ready to learn about pastry? Make sure that you aren’t hungry when you watch.
Whose pastry will be buttery perfection? Check back for our Best Baker in America recap.