The Fresh Loaf

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Recommend oven for small business

Vietcu's picture

Recommend oven for small business

Hi everyone, this is my first post but I gave been perusing this website for quite some time now.  I am in the process of starting a small sandwich shop, the main focus is the "banh mi". The banh mi is a vietnamese style sandwich-hoagie.  Our plan is to make fresh bread everyday and either selling the unused bread cheap or given it away.  We are looking to make bread that is similar to the Demi baquette, so my question is would you kind folks recommend what is the best product to have for the kitchen.  We will be making anywhere from 200-500 loaves per day fresh, spreading the baking process into 3 periods of the day. Right now I am thinking of getting either a 30-40 quart mixer, a dough divider, a dough former, and of course an oven. 

mixer either Globe or Hobart. 

Divider still undecided on this one. 

Former, I really loke the Poco by Bloemhoff. 

And I am at a loss for an oven, not sure whether I should go with a deck oven or a rack oven.  I am leaning towards the oven used by Subway(nuvu), but again not really sure in this department.  

Again this is for a start up business, with somewhat of a tight budget.  So what will end up happening is some of these items will either be omitted if necessary or bought used.  Really just looking at making one type of bread, so please recommend what you guys think is the best route we should take. Thanks in advance. 

PastryPaul's picture


Rule of thumb is to always choose the smallest oven that will do the job. That said, your production expectation is very wide. Assuming banh mi's of 100g each, 200 means 20Kg of dough, 500 means 50kg. Spread that over three production runs and you have 7kg to 17kg per run. On the low end, a 20qt mixer is ample, while at the higher end a 40qt (min) is called for. Of course, adjust these numbers by your actual portion size. 

Assuming 15 banh mi's per full sheet pan, the low end would mean 3 shots of 4.5 sheet pans, so a double deck (6 pans) would be fine. At the higher end, it would be 3 shots of 11 pans, which would require a quad deck for a single bake, or just run two bakes. Since oven time is minimal, I don't see the need for a quad, so I would go with a double. You can always add decks as you need.

Don't ignore convections. Their small footprint may be an important consideration depending on your floorplan. The less space used in production, the more space available for sales. A 12 pan convection takes the space of half a deck.

This may be considered sacrilegious, but we tried some "Hobart-clone" mixers from China. I can't speak for the  long term, but they have preformed well over the last 9 months. Since I can get a 30qt for about C$2300 brand new, it's worth a look. Mind you, a 30qt may not do the trick for you. Do you have room for 2?

Other things to look at.... Will you proof at room temp or do you need a proofer? Do you have the space for a few bakers' ladders hanging around?



Vietcu's picture

Thanks PastryPaul for your response.  We are building from the ground up so room for the kitchen should be easily managed.  I threw out a wide production process because we are in the planning phase of the business.  Convection ovens are what I am currently looking at with the options of direct steam injection.  The three leading brands I am currently looking at are Southbend, Vulcans, and Bloddget double deck ovens.  We are definitely looking at placing the dough into proofing ovens to speed up the process. 

Would you mind telling me what brands of "Hobartclone" you are currently using?  Unless I can find a Hobart used, chances are we will not be able to afford a new one.  So I am open to all suggestions as to which brands to look at.  Thanks again.