Mighty good question.
You might not (strictly speaking) find the definition of “Pastryologist” in your dictionary.
That’s because we made it up.
But it makes a lot of sense. We could call ourselves bakers, but that isn’t really fair to real bakers who get up at 2 in the morning, are elbow-deep in dough and yeast by 3 and crank out professional-quality baked goods all day long. We have worked before in professional kitchens, in the bakery department, and appreciate how truly hard and demanding that job can be. We have also given some thought to opening a real, retail bakery . . . and said, “Nah, don’t think so.”
Instead, we’re students of baking. We’re interested in it. We love to make stuff at home for our friends and family. We love to learn about new recipes, new ingredients and new techniques that professional bakers use to make those wondrous confections and fundamental staples that define the baking experience. We love to show off our knowledge of things like souffles, clafoutis, meringues (and their fabulous Down Under cousins, pavlovas), tarts and galettes and even a perfect, deep-dish American apple pie.
We scour cookbooks and blogs and geek out on esoterica like the three different types of meringue (Italian, Swiss, French), and how to make our Aunt Ann’s rice pudding better.
We’re home bakers and slaves to our ovens and mixing bowls and whisks.We’re pastryologists, damnit, and proud of it.
Now you know.