Crunchy crust and soft crumb: bread is the inevitable star of Italian tables.
Today, more than ever, the relationship with one’s own baker is being rediscovered who, made up of trust, stories and seductive tastings, manages to convey bite after bite the flavor and consistency associated with a particular grain or leavening.
Each taste professional obviously has his own technique and recipes, perhaps handed down from generation to generation, jealously guarded and improved over the years.
But to obtain good bread, which knows how to tell your philosophy and your values, it is not enough to know how to select the best grains or choose to use more or less natural leavening.
To support the study of accurate processing methods, designed specifically for that given type of grain and grinding, there must be a commercial bread oven specifically designed to enhance the flavors and to ensure uniform cooking of all loaves, regardless of the load.
A good oven, in fact, must be able to meet your needs and facilitate your work, always guaranteeing you a high quality production.
The different models on the market are designed to adapt and respond in the best possible way to different activities in terms of dimensions and processing methods.
For this reason it is essential to understand in the first place what your needs are and what characteristics you are looking for in an oven, focusing above all on your laboratory and on which product you intend to offer to your customers.
Total control of temperature, humidity and steam are just some of the essential features to always obtain excellent results.
Let’s see below what are the other requirements that a good commercial bread oven must possess to facilitate your work and give you the opportunity to experiment with always different ingredients.
Professional bakery oven: better electric or gas?
What mainly distinguishes one oven from another is the system with which heat is transmitted, which can occur in three different ways:
- Conduction: it is obtained through direct contact with the pan or the refractory surface (floor)
- Convection: occurs through the motions of hot air present inside the oven, which exchange heat with the product. The heated air expands, decreases in density and rises upwards, where it cools, and then falls again. This physical phenomenon is fundamental in cooking processes in a closed environment
- Radiation: in this case the heat is transmitted through the resistances of an electric oven or a refractory cover (ceiling).
An accurate and correct combination of these three factors allows you to adapt the cooking parameters for each individual product.
If in the past wood-fired ovens were among the most used in baking bread, today the market offers infinite models and new generation solutions, each with its own distinctive characteristics.
Professional ovens, depending on the type of power supply, offer different qualities in the emission and distribution of heat inside the cooking chamber.
We can therefore find powered bakery ovens:
- Gas: where the heat is produced thanks to the flame placed in the lower parts
- Electrical: where the heat is generated by the overheating of the resistances
Gas cooking is very versatile, while electric cooking conducts heat without significant variations in temperature regulation and manages to keep the degrees constant.
Surely professional electric ovens are the most used and recommended solution for baking bread.
This is both for greater uniformity and quality of cooking and because they allow you to select the mode of heat diffusion: from above, from below or from both sides.
This is why the electric models, thanks to the ability to easily control and set the temperature of the top and the floor, represent a valid solution for bakeries, allowing you to obtain impeccable cooking for each loaf.
Among the advantages offered by electric ovens for bakeries we therefore find:
- The ability to select which resistance to activate
- The option of being able to switch on a single room or more than one
- The practicality of the installation that does not require the implementation of a flue
Furthermore, the continuous investment in research and development in recent years has made it possible to optimize this type of oven from the point of view of energy saving, combining high performance and increasingly reduced consumption.
The most efficient ovens in this category are those designed and built to ensure high thermal insulation.
Thanks to the materials used in manufacturing they are in fact able to exploit heat more efficiently, preventing its dispersion to the outside.
What characteristics must a good professional bakery oven possess?
Choosing the perfect oven from the multitude of models and proposals on the market may seem complicated, at least on the surface.
Surely every activity is different from the other so first you need to understand what use you intend to make of the oven, which products you want to make and how many.
That said, there are some features you should take into consideration when deciding to buy acommercial bread oven. Let’s see some of them.
Extreme versatility of modular ovens
If in your laboratory you have decided to diversify the production and therefore to make different types of bread, and why not even pizza and small pastries, then you should move towards an oven with several cooking chambers.
In this way you will not only have the possibility to bake more products at the same time, but also to always keep consumption low with considerable energy savings.
In fact, it is not necessary to always keep all the chambers with which the oven is equipped on: you can decide to use only one or two of the available chambers, thus reducing consumption.
Furthermore, you can decide to set a different cooking mode for each chamber or choose from your favorite preset recipes. This way you won’t have to set the oven every time for the products you bake every day.
Maximum productivity in tunnel ovens
One of the main aspects to take into consideration when you are preparing to choose the best professional oven for your bakery is undoubtedly the quantity of production you intend to make.
If you think that a modular oven is not enough to meet your needs, as you have a semi-industrial bread production, you can evaluate the purchase of a compact industrial electric oven, but suitable for cooking multiple products such as: common bread, carasau bread, Sardinian esplanade, Arabic bread, unleavened bread and so on.
High quality of the materials used
Choosing an oven made with high quality materials, in addition to ensuring excellent durability and high thermal insulation, affects the quality of the bread produced, especially if it is large in size.
In fact, heavier doughs, in addition to requiring high-power professional electric ovens to be dried and cooked to perfection, need high-performance hobs.
A plateau made of refractory material, combined with a system of armored resistances, allows the heat to be evenly distributed in every point of the chamber offering bread that is always homogeneous and perfect.
Furthermore, from the point of view of consumption, a commercial bread oven made with heat-conducting materials, combined with a system of well-positioned resistances, will be less expensive in terms of consumption than a similar model made with lower quality materials.
Easy programmability of the commercial bread oven
Simple to use and functional. To make your work easier, the oven must be intuitive, simple to program and able to speed up production.
So choose an innovative and technological bakery oven, easy to use and functional, where you can set and program not only each type of cooking, but also switch on at a preset time as you wish.
In this way, when you arrive in the laboratory, the oven will already be hot and you will not have to wait for it to reach the desired temperature
Possibility of inserting the steamer in each cooking chamber
The steamer allows you to conveniently and automatically control the right level of humidity during cooking.
It is especially important for many baked goods with a shiny, smooth finish and allows you to:
- Make the bread crust shiny and thin
- Slow down the formation of the scab
- Increase the amount of bread crumbs
- Increase the volume of the bread
- Slow down the chemical reactions responsible for the browning of the crust
- Speed up cooking
- Create cracks on the surface of the bread if the dough was prepared with a strong flour
Obviously not all production requires the use of the steamer. Homemade bread or all those products with a rustic appearance, with a rough and opaque crust such as Apulian or Tuscan bread, do not require this function.
What is the best commercial bread oven?
As you may have guessed, there is no universal answer to this question.
The choice of oven is linked to your way of working, the production levels of your business, the budget you intend to invest and the type of products you want to offer your customers.
Before tackling the purchase of a new oven, it is therefore important to know what imprint you want to give to your bakery: what products do you want to offer? Do you intend to bake a niche bread or do you want to focus on quantity? Do you need a model that allows you to store different recipes and is technologically advanced or do you prefer a basic but functional oven?
Answering these simple questions will help you to be clear about the functions and characteristics of the new oven, so that you can then evaluate the different options.
Furthermore, knowing the differences and peculiarities of the different types of bakery ovens on the market will allow you to make a careful and conscious choice, which knows how to adapt well to your growth project.
Of course, investing in a model that is simple to use, made with high quality and versatile materials can offer you significant advantages, both in terms of cooking results and in terms of economic and ecological aspects.