Sourdough and other pastries

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Joined Apr 18, 2021
I'm looking at baking sourdough and pastries etc and I'm unsure what type oven to buy that wont cost too much.
I worked in a micro bakery and they used a Rofco B40, but you cant get one of these atm as really long waiting list.

I was wondering if I could get a recommendation for similar or does anyone know if I could get away with a pizza oven, like a Bakers Pride Electric Pizza Oven (P-22) as i can get one of these second hand for cheap to start out with???

Any help would be much appreciated as I'm struggling to get something sorted :rofl:
 

chefpeon

Kitchen Dork
788
205
Joined Jun 15, 2006
Here's what I know: Never buy new equipment. Always buy used.....especially when you're not even sure what oven to get. And this may be a no brainer, but always make sure you have sufficient electrical power to run the oven. I can't tell you how many people go out and buy ovens then get back to their space and realize they don't have the amperage to run it.

You say your primary products are pastries and sourdough. What oven to buy depends on your ambitions and projected volume. If you plan on doing significant volume, a bigger investment in your oven may be required, but if you're doing things on a small scale and plan on the small scale for some time to come, you can probably get away with spending less. However, this really isn't good business sense, since you always want to leave some room to grow. A cheapo oven that doesn't do what you need it to do will just limit the quality of your product, therefore reducing sales. So if you're serious about this you need to prepare to invest in good equipment to pump out good product with the least amount of headache possible.

Really good sourdough requires the use of steam to create that shiny crackly crust, so you might want to look into a steam bread oven but those puppies are expensive. There are ways to bake with steam in a regular conventional oven at home (like placing a pan of boiling water under the bread) but this would probably be too onerous in a commercial operation. Depending on your projected output, investing in a steam oven (NOT a combi oven) may be wise.

For pastries, I've always preferred a standard deck oven with top and bottom heat controls. I'm a person that really hates convection ovens so I'll never recommend them, although some others will.

As to makes and models.......well, I don't know about any of that because I've never been in a position to make that choice. I've always ended up with what I could find to fit my budget at the used restaurant equipment place. I'm less concerned with the brand if I can just find what I need at the right price with some sort of short term warranty from the dealer.

You also might try posting your query on the Professional Chefs forum, since it seems this forum here is pretty dead. It seems I'm the only one responding to posts here these days.
 
446
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
I agree with ChefPeon; I have a double stack Blodgett convection because it was what I could afford at the time and I was moving into a shared kitchen and needed my own ovens. I'm not a fan of convection to be honest; I hate the way it bakes. As Foodpump has often said, with a deck oven you can manipulate the oven to produce your product, with a convection oven, you manipulate your product to the whim of the oven. Or something like that. Bottom line is convections are not great for pastry, or cake for that matter. Figure out what your specs are (electric capacity, space, ventilation, fire suppression) and then go to the best restaurant dealer in town and see what they have. Don't buy in haste, you'll regret it. Make an informed purchase. Don't be tempted to buy online either; the pricing is very competitive but the internet sellers won't support you if there's a problem. Put it on casters if you can, makes cleaning (the floor) so much easier. Delivery on something heavy is best left to professionals - don't spend all that money and then get left on the curb to figure out how you are going to get that oven inside and set up.
 
138
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Joined Dec 29, 2019
I'm looking at baking sourdough and pastries etc and I'm unsure what type oven to buy that wont cost too much.
I worked in a micro bakery and they used a Rofco B40, but you cant get one of these atm as really long waiting list.

I was wondering if I could get a recommendation for similar or does anyone know if I could get away with a pizza oven, like a Bakers Pride Electric Pizza Oven (P-22) as i can get one of these second hand for cheap to start out with???

Any help would be much appreciated as I'm struggling to get something sorted :rofl:
electric ovens cost an arm and a leg to run.
better to cry once than every time the bill comes for electric.
 
5,508
946
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Pizza ovens, especially older ones dont bake well at temps under 450-475F,


When buying an oven- new or used please, , please, pretty please STAY AWAY from the restaurant suppliers, as they will try to sell you either a pizza oven or a convection oven, they dont know jack-all about baking. Instead, look up bakery eqpt. dealers in your area, new or used.

As others have said, a lot of your choice depends on what kind of amperage you have available, if gas, do you have sufficient exhaust hood and fire supression space available?

Whatever you choose, DO NOT get anything with only 1/2 sheetpan (18" x12") capacity, or you will curse yourself every time you load it up..

Sourdough begs for a hearth baked crust. You can " make do" with lining a sheetpan with bbq tiles, shoving this in a convection oven to preheat and baking directly ontop. Not as good as baking in a deck, but passable. If you need to bake blind tarts, etc., head out to a lake and get as many marble-sized rocks as
possible and run them through the d/washer. these are far superior to using beans, as they retain heat, are much heavier, never break down, never get greasy, and never scorch and stink. They're also free....
 
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