Craft Baking Essentials: Choosing the Right Oven

Artisan bakeries and patisseries are the loving home to creativity and innovation for any and all eating occasions. The work behind the counter involves much more than original ideas for tasty creations, as bakers are balancing between planning, organizing, prioritizing, calculating, and baking. A good oven is key to handling this.

Bringing a new oven into the baking area should be in itself the start of a radical change of the entire routine. Choosing the best fit is taken quite literally because the oven must efficiently cover the space and positioning allotted to it, while also having the capacity to produce the desired quantities for all occasions. Energy-efficiency is a must on the checklist when evaluating this purchase; the oven must help save energy and also be easy to use by anyone in all shifts, regardless of their background.

“First and foremost, the device must fit the overall concept of the customer. In the handicraft sector, combinations of convection-, deck- and snack devices often tend to be suitable in order to be able to offer the best baking quality,” Maximilian Eder, product management, WIESHEU highlighted.

Bake Everything

PAVAILLER designs, manufactures and distributes an extensive range of ovens for baking bread, cakes, and Viennese pastries specialized for the needs of artisan bakers, distribution groups and franchises. The company has recently launched its newest in-store oven, the ONYX. It stands out due to its modern design; “its baking surface (up to 6.4 m²) and footprint (3.4m²), as well as its thermal isolation that enables the baking of baguettes in just 18 minutes with smooth power (30kW or 30kVA),” Sebastien Audras, product manager, Pavailler, described for us. This oven also includes the new regulation-compliant touchscreen “Easy-Touch”, enabling the baker to monitor the oven at a glance and adjust its consumption strictly as needed, to save energy. The ONYX oven bakes bread very fast thanks to its deck height, which has been lowered to 140 mm. This brings the resistances closer to the bread, so it is more efficient because of the decrease in the volume of the baking chamber that needs to be heated.

The Easy-Touch panel includes an ECO mode that saves energy when the oven is not full or when production is no longer in a “rush” mode. It also turns to sleep mode after if it is not used for a while. “We also recommend the baker to completely stop the oven as soon as he knows that he won’t bake any goods in the coming 15 minutes. The oven will save energy as it doesn’t regulate as empty. The temperature will quickly come back to the set value, as these PAVAILLER ovens are very powerful and well insulated. It would take less than 10 minutes to jump from 200° to 250°C,” Audras said.

The Utmost Flexibility

End customers expect a wide range of baked goods and tasty snacks. Eder (WIESHEU) underlined: “It is important for us to provide our customers with the most flexible solutions possible. A good example of this is our networking solution Wnet, which allows baking programs to be created and sent to the devices via an easy-to-use web-interface. This helps our customers to adapt their baking assortment flexibly and without effort.”

The various types of equipment for craft baking in WIESHEU’s portfolio (convection ovens, deck units) are also available in different chamber sizes and can be combined modularly. “This allows our customers to use the full capacity of the devices during peak periods and simply switch off devices when they don’t need them,” Eder explained.

To simplify workflow, ovens are often used for frozen baked goods. An oven with a powerful steaming system and an optimal airflow in the baking chamber is the key to obtaining good quality products, consistently. WIESHEU’s specialist explained: “For sophisticated snack products, we recommend our customers to use an Atollspeed high-speed oven. This small snack oven combines a classic convection oven and a microwave. In this way, fantastic snacks can be produced in a very short time.”

Multiple Benefits

A new oven should be easy to operate, able to store complex baking programs, have a low energy consumption, and high stability in a compact architecture, with the possibility of networking the oven controls.

WP ovens designed for craft baking combine these features; benefits include energy-saving capabilities, achieved by improving the insulation and the efficiency of the heat exchanger. In addition, the modified airflow enables shorter baking times combined with reduced baking loss. Dr. Christoph Adams, technical manager, WP Bakery Technologies, detailed features to look for:

  • WP ISOTHERMIC BAKING – automatic uniform baking results for full and partial occupancy
  • WP THERMOGATE – Burner runs when the trolley is changed and during the steam exposure time, so full energy and low temperature drop immediately when baking starts.
  • WP THERMOGATE – Burner runs when the trolley is changed and during the steam exposure time, so full energy and low temperature drop immediately when baking starts.
  • WP NAVIGO 3 – State-of-the-art computer oven control with visualization of the baking process.

“The oven control system can store up to 250 different baking recipes with up to 25 baking phases each, making it very easy to bake different products one after the other,” Dr. Adams explained for us. These phases include baking time, baking temperature, swath volume, swath time, and circulator speed (for rack ovens). High-precision water meters accurately add the necessary water for controlled humidification.

You can read more in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Jan/Feb 2020)!

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