The Fresh Loaf

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Countertop pizza oven - good for bread baking??

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purpleronie's picture
purpleronie

Countertop pizza oven - good for bread baking??

Hi,


Am looking to start a small cafe and bakery, and intiially we are baking in a standard domestic electric oven. Have seen twin deck countertop pizza ovens, which are only about 9cm high for each deck and electric. I was wondering if it would be feasible to use these for rolls, baguettes and the like, as well as pizza? with not much money or space we are needing versatility!


Does anyone have any experience of these? Or any thoughts as to why it would or would not work?


Ronie

copyu's picture
copyu

I had a so-called "pizza oven" that came with a 5/8" thick pizza stone. ('DeLonghi'; made in Italy.)


It had a very good temperature range—from 60°C minimum up to about 200°C and LONG cooking/heating times. These features were the only things that distinguished it from a typical "toaster oven", which is a ubiquitous item here in Japan. It worked pretty well, but it wasn't really an oven. I did bake a few items in it—scones (biscuits) and a few pies.


It worked, but it wasn't great. I think the manufacturer's idea was that you would throw a pre-cooked frozen pizza into it and use the 'oven' to heat it up. I donated it to my work-place, where it was very welcome for heating lunches that weren't OK to put into the microwave oven (pastries, foil-wrapped foods, etc.)


A link to the item you have in mind would be helpful...any chance of that?


Cheers!      

purpleronie's picture
purpleronie

Hi copyu,


Thanks for taking the time to input on this. The item I am looking at is currently on ebay and the link is:


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320533548926&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT


It is pretty small and quite cheap, so I suspect the limitations you mentioned above would apply, but given I am baking in less than ideal circumstances anyway, I'm wondering with ingenuity and perserverance could make it feasible, for at least some limited items!


Ronie

copyu's picture
copyu

Thanks for posting the link.


That item looks a bit more "serious" than the one I had and is 2-3 times the price of mine. I think that the item you have in mind is a 'real oven', judging by the door, but the size will be VERY limiting.


I don't pretend that I could ever produce a real 'baguette', or even a passable 'batard' in either of my Japanese ovens...I have a gas and an electric, but they're both 'mini-sized', like the one you're interested in. Nevertheless, I have HEAPS more 'head-room' in my ovens than you would have (and it's still not enough for any 'serious' home-baking.) 


For business purposes, where you would (hopefully?) be under more pressure than a home baker, I'd say, definitely: "No Way!" [That would apply to my own home ovens, as well. They're just too tiny and you'd probably be burning yourself every second or third day of the week...even with very long oven mitts!] 


I think you're limited to pizza with that item and, at that price, I'd be looking elsewhere. Sorry! Still, it's just one person's opinion...


Very best wishes,


copyu    

purpleronie's picture
purpleronie

Thanks for your thoughts.


My main concern was that it would not be suitable for baking bread in due to its heating type or whatever, which you don't seem to think is too much of an issue. I agree with you about the headroom, but as long as it is not burning on the top, i think rolls etc would fit within the space, and whilst its a long way from being desirable, the kitchen I will be using is tiny, and this is about the only thing I could use to increase oven capacity.


As we would probably run pizza nights and the like as well, it would pay itself back fairly quickly I hope. I have not seen anything that is any bigger, or any cheaper for the same sort of size unfortunately.


Will mull it over tonight, but as we are opening soon will have to decide wether to risk it, or leave it ASAP!


Thanks for taking the time to look at this for me and give your input - its much appreciated.


Ronie

dutchmilkmaid's picture
dutchmilkmaid

Funny that, I was thinking of something simular. I looked into the Ferrari G3 pizza oven which reaches a whopping 450 degrees Celsius and is very well spoken of. It uses a pizza stone and a fantastic pizza takes only 5 minutes. But I would mostly like to use it for things like naan bread, which are usually baked in very hot stone oven. I can't find people using the Ferrari for that, they do bake other bread (Focaccia) in it at a lower temperature. It will be interesting to see what other people say about this.

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

If the shelves are 90mm high, then you are talking about a height of around 3.5 inches or so.  I would think your bread, if it had any ovenspring at all, would likely hit the top of the oven.  You would not have much chance of getting any circulation of heat for a loaf of bread there.  I currently use a Breville Smart Oven or a Hamilton Beach rotisserie countertop oven and the Breville has about 6 inches in height or about 150mm and I have to be careful of what bread I bake in it.  If I try to bake a sandwich loaf it is almost guaranteed to come close to the top and when I really hit the ovenspring it actually did hit the top of the oven.   Baguettes and Batards can be made in it but they don't do all that well.  I think I would verify the height of the shelves because 90 mm just does not sound like the right height to me.   I would think you might even have problems with pizzas in that oven.   I may be wrong in my calculations but I am using 0.03937 as the conversion factor for mm to inches which is the measurement I am most familiar with.