Can I achieve quality bread from a Blodgett Pizza Oven?
I've been reading everything for sometime and decided to finally join.
I'm looking for an oven to begin my own small production bakery. My idea is to buy a used double deck Blodgett and install a stone hearth and steam injector, but I'm concerned that converting this 'pizza oven' is a chincy way to roll. I want to make sure this beatiful oven can hold up to five rounds of baking each day, potentially with colder overnighted dough. I'm currently baking in a Sveba Dahlen deck that throws out a storm of steam, giving me the results I'm looking for.
There are lots of these ovens out there, which is part of the appeal, as is the price, size, and style. I just don't want to sacrifice the bread. Will I be? Advice from Blodgett experts? Alternatives?
I have not specifically baked in a Blodgett but have used ovens of this type from different manufactuers. The oven that I am currently using is a Baker's Pride deck oven. The oven works very well for breads of all sorts. It does not have steam injection which is a real negative but not impossible to overcome. I have no doubt that the oven would hold up well to regular multiple daily bakings.
but I've tried everything I know to get it steamed to no avail. I can obviously generate steam but it instantly escapes the oven because it's not sealed well enough I assume (it is quite old). Also I've been concerned about how the electrical would be effected since it's not made to handle moisture. I don't have an alternative so I just load it with dutch ovens, crank it up, and go from there. This just limits me to 2lb. boules and batards which is annoying but it works. Any tips would be greatly appreciated by me also on this conundrum :)
I ran a metal line in through the side of the oven where the gas line goes in as this was the easiest path into the burner area. This line is connected to a pressure cooker on the outside and releases steam inside the back of the oven where the heat vents up into the baking chamber. With the rear baffle closed, I steam for a few minutes prior to putting in the loaves. As the loaves go in I open the rear baffle to allow the hot steamy air to flow over the loaves. I turn the steam off after about 7 minutes. This is less than perfect and only partially effective but it does help significantly.
Used Blodgett ovens are quite reliable. I had a three stack in one of my shops, a double in the other. We never had a problem - but I don't know how installing the steam injection will affect your products.
Thank you for your responses, they were extremely helpful in my searches. I wanted to report that I decided to go with a Sveba Dahlen Classic deck oven. It is an electric deck oven, stone heart, with overhead tubes and an installed steam generator. It is actually the same make and model I was baking on previously.
After considering the Blodgett and other ovens, I realized purchasing an extereior steam injector cancels out the idea of being economical with the purchase in the first place. Additionally, the time it takes to load the oven fully and then generate steam manually would give the bread more setup time than I'd like before steam filled the space. Thirdly, I was very partial to the glass doors that lifting up like a DeLorean. All in all I think the Sveba is a great and prevelant small electric deck with steam and hearth. Thanks!