The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What do the dials do?

pearly's picture

What do the dials do?

I am trying to work out how to use this oven. It's an old oven and I can't find any information about it on the internet. This is the first time I have used a professional oven and don't really know what the dials do. I have tried to find a datasheet/manual on the internet for this oven but I think it is too old. Anyway, if anyone can advise me what the dials control or give me any tips for using an oven this old I'd be very grateful. Atm I am just turning it on and waiting until it gets hot (by using digital probes - the thermometers are inaccurate) before I bake. 

Here are some pictures of the oven


Thanks in advance.

AnnaInMD's picture

heat settings, maybe for upper and lower elements. Play with it. 

jcking's picture

The label says 240 volts, is that what you have it hooked up to? Looks like some chem or science oven.


sphealey's picture

I had my A+ German student look at it and we tried some dictionary searches, but he is a post-2000-German speaker and that is clearly a pre-2000 nameplate.

I am wonder though if the '3X' on the third line means 3-phase. 


flournwater's picture

Apparently, Dahlen is still in the oven business:

Might be able to check with them.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My own look at the dials can mean nothing, if the dials pull off to clean, then they might not be in the original positions.  Keep that in mind as you play around. Looks to me like one oven to a stackable oven group (legs? or clamp marks?) one in a group of 4 maybe.  Be clear in your contact to Dahlen how many ovens are hooked together.  (I suspect E1B-41B  may mean "Electric 1B - Four ovens 1B for an example.)  One dial & light could be steam.  Is there any metal hose connections or nipples at the back?  Or in the oven?

Looks Swedish/German   

Spänning or "Connected load" is 3 x 415 +0 V  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of another Dahlan oven no longer for sale:

3 x 380 V Anschlusswert gesamt: 18 kW je Backrohr (4 St):4,1 kW Gärraum: 1,6 kW Maße: (B x T x H) 138 x 100 x 201 cm je Backrohr Blechgröße: 90 x 60 cm / bzw. 2 St 45 x 60 cm Gärraum Blechgröße: 45 x 60 cm Bachrohr Höhe: 3 Rohre 14,5 cm; 1 Rohr 20,0 cm Der Backofen ist in sehr gt. Zst., voll fktf., technisch wie optisch ohne besonderer Mängel. Zum Lieferumfang gehören: 5 Backbleche 90 x 60 cm und 20 Backbleche 45 x 60 cm Abholpreis EUR 1.750...

This breaks down to 

3 x 380 V connected load total: 18 kW per Bake oven (4 ovens): 4,1 kW baking room: 1.6 kW Size (width x deep x height) 138 x 100 x 201 centimeters per Baking oven tray size 90 x 60 cm / or 2 trays 45 x 60 cm  Baking Height in ovens: 3 ovens 14.5 cm; one oven 20.0 cm   The ovens are in very good condition, totally functional, technically and visually with nothing missing.  With the delivery belong: 5 baking sheets bla bla bla and the price.  

You might be able to compare ovens and get some idea of what the writing on your oven means to you.

For example my home oven gives off 3.3 kW heat.  Yours lists 9/2 kW

AnnaInMD's picture

the town Boras is in Sweden

(Mini, German ovens would be marked better, ahem, grin)


Mr Meowski's picture
Mr Meowski

I realize it is practically a criminal offense to resurrect a thread that is 6 yeas old, but I just bought the same oven as the OP and I can't find any good info either. 

Pearly, did you ever get things figured out? I could use some help with mine. 

pearly's picture

Hey Mr Meowski,

This is great, a real blast from the past for me! I was taken on to run a (very small) bakery and this was what they had when I started - I had no idea what I was doing as I'd only done home baking before and so Mini Oven's very useful replies above would have made sense if I'd known then what experience has taught me since (baking became my profession and I work at a much better bakery now :)

As Mini Oven says above, it's likely that the numbered white dials control top and bottom heat. There are heating elements at the top and bottom of each deck and these can be individually altered to help to control where the heat comes from. You would usually set both to the same setting for an even heat in the oven cavity. If you want a gentler bake (say, for enriched doughs like brioche) you would set the controls lower. For baking leaner breads the heat setting would be higher, but still even. For very large loaves, you might want to set the bottom heat higher to achieve a good oven spring, as the larger mass of dough can cause the oven to struggle to recover to a good baking temperature after loading.

As Mini Oven also points out, if the dials are removable then the dial may not point to the correct setting (as it could have been replaced incorrectly or they could have been knocked out of their true position during repeated cleaning - it's happened to me before). Try to pull the dial off or see if there is some sort of release fixing. If it does come off, set the metal rod behind it to either maximum (full clockwise) or minimum (full anti-clockwise) and replace the dial appropriately.

The black dial could indeed be part of a steam system. If it looks like there is some sort of inlet or drain at the back of the deck then this might confirm it.

The light could be an indication that the water reservoir is at a sufficient temperature to generate steam, or it could be that the deck is at the temperature that you have set it to with the remaining dial. Steam systems are prone to corrosion and will probably be knackered on an oven this old - if the light never comes on then it's probably steam, if the light is on when you turn the deck on and goes off when it's hot then it's probably reporting the temperature of the deck.

The remaining dial, with the 200, 300, 400 etc on it is the temperature setting for the deck as a whole. The top and bottom heat dials set the rate at which the elements put out heat and the overall temperature setting sets the heat at which those elements will start to cycle on and off to maintain that temperature. The temperature of the deck is reported on the glass covered dial with the needle inside and this is enabled by a thermocouple inside the oven cavity (which may or may not work - mine didn't).

The worst thing about this oven is the fact that each deck has steel soles. If you are baking things in tins or on trays then this isn't a massive problem, though it does mean that the lack of heat-retaining material on the floor of the deck is small, so it will take longer to recover after you load it than an oven with stone tiles, which retain heat much better. The boss at this bakery wanted hearth breads, which are very difficult to bake well in this oven. I found that getting the oven hot enough to get a good oven spring meant that loaves usually ended up far too dark (burnt, basically) on the bottom. With more experience I might have been able to get better results but in the end (after sustained nagging) the boss turned up with a load of 4cm thick granite one day and we loaded it into each deck to give it better thermal mass. The hearth loaves turned out great after that but it did mean that the size of the opening at the door was reduced, ending in me burning myself as tin loaves rose higher than the clearance at the door and I had to tip them over and get them out of the tins sideways while they were inside the oven - I still have the scars!

Hope this is helpful. Happy to provide more info or answer more questions.

What are you using the oven for? Where are you based?

All the best,


pearly's picture

Having just had another look at the pictures I've realised that there are two lights. My guess is that the black dial and lower light are for a steam system (which may not be fitted or may be broken) and the top light is for the deck temperature. I'd expect the top light to do something and the lower light to do nothing.

I suppose they could also be wierldy placed indicators that the top and bottom elements (controlled by the two white dials on the right) are cycling on and off. This wouldn't be particularly helpful to know though so I'd be surprised if it was that but if they both flash on and off as the oven heats and cools then maybe so.

Also, those dials probably do come off because it looks like the metal panel behind them is removable. I'd probably start unscrewing things if I couldn't remove the dials but I'd definitely unplug it first - from what I remember that's a three phase oven and will certainly kill you if you get a belt off it.


GargoyleintheDough's picture

I am very excited to have found your discussion of this oven, the Sveba-Dahlmann UIB series.  Has any one found a source for parts for these ovens?  I can't even find the ID/Model tag on the one I am trying to fix.  I believe I am in desperate need of heating elements.

Does any one know of a source or have any suggestions?

Thank you,