AskDefine | Define baker

Dictionary Definition



1 someone who bakes commercially
2 someone who bakes bread or cake [syn: bread maker]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A botanical plant name author abbreviation for botanist John Gilbert Baker (1834-1920).


Proper noun

  1. An English occupational surname from a baker, or owner of a communal oven

Extensive Definition

This article refers to the cooking profession. For other uses, see Baker (disambiguation)
A baker is someone who primarily bakes and sells bread. Cakes and similar foods may also be produced, as the traditional boundaries between what is produced by a baker as opposed to a pastry chef have blurred in recent decades. The place where a baker works is called a bakehouse, bakeshop, or bakery.

History of baking

Egyptians The first group of people to bake bread were ancient Egyptians, in 2600-2100 BC. It was believed that they learnt their skills from the Babylonians. In the royal bakery of Ramesses, bread and cakes were often made in shapes of animals and used for sacrifices.
The Roman Empire
The Greek culture influenced the Romans a lot after the Egyptians. From there, Bakery was transformed and flourished. The Romans were lusty and festive, soon the art of Bakering were a highly respected profession during the fourth century (A.D). The 'job' was so profitable that in the time of Christ there were about three hundred Bakers around Rome.
From the Roman Empire, the art of Bakery spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
During the Middle ages, it was common for each landlord to have a bakery, which was actually more of a public oven. Housewives would bring dough that they had prepared to the baker, who would use the oven to bake it into bread. As time went on, bakers began to bake their own goods, creating numerous tricks. For example, some bakers had trap doors that would allow a small boy to pinch off a bit of the dough to later sell off as his own. This practice eventually led in England to a regulation known as the Assize of Bread and Ale, which provided harsh punishments for bakers who were caught cheating. In response, bakers commonly threw in an extra loaf of bread; this tradition lives on in the modern "baker's dozen".

Modern bakers

Today bakers work in varying environments both as employees and sometimes owning their own stores. Bakers can be found working in:
  • Large factories. These produce bread and related products which are then transported to numerous selling points throughout a region. These normally include supermarkets, convenience stores, and the like. Bakers in these environments are largely there for quality control as machines take care of much of the labour intensive aspect of the job.
  • Small Independent bakeries. These are largely family-run businesses. They may specialise in particular types of products, such as sourdough.
  • Chain stores. Recent years have seen the rise of chain stores (supermarkets) selling the same range of products. Bakers in these stores bake according to a pre-determined recipe book. This can lead to frustration as some bakers do not agree with techniques used by the franchising model. However, the recipes used tend to be well-founded, and popular with the paying public.
baker in Tosk Albanian: Bäcker
baker in Bavarian: Begga
baker in Catalan: Flequer
baker in Danish: Bager
baker in Pennsylvania German: Beckerschapp
baker in German: Bäcker
baker in Spanish: Panadero
baker in French: Boulanger
baker in Hebrew: אופה
baker in Hungarian: Pék
baker in Dutch: Bakker (beroep)
baker in Japanese: 製パン
baker in Norwegian: Baker (profesjon)
baker in Polish: Piekarstwo
baker in Portuguese: Padaria
baker in Russian: Пекарь
baker in Sicilian: Furnaru
baker in Simple English: Baker
baker in Serbian: Пекар
baker in Finnish: Leipomo
baker in Swedish: Bagare
baker in Contenese: 麪包鋪

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bookdealer, bookseller, butcher, chandler, chef, chef de cuisine, chief cook, clothing merchant, confectioner, cook, culinarian, culinary artist, draper, drysalter, fishmonger, fishwife, florist, footwear merchant, fruiterer, fry cook, furnisher, furrier, greengrocer, grocer, groceryman, haberdasher, hardwareman, ironmonger, jeweler, kitchener, liquor merchant, newsdealer, pastry chef, pastrycook, perfumer, poulterer, saddler, short-order cook, stationer, tobacconist, vintner, wine merchant
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