The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

FornoBravo vs Alan Scott style WFO

mikeortelle's picture
mikeortelle

FornoBravo vs Alan Scott style WFO

Hey Bread Heads, 

I am in looking at getting a WFO for a small home bakery operation, baking approx 100-150 loaves a few days a week. I am interested in any feedback on the Forno premio2g or similar oven with regard to heat retention with full loads.

How many loads can you do on one firing?

How long does it hold a consistent temp?

I've read Scott's book The Bread Builders and am intrigued by his oven, but if I can get the same result with a modular I'd rather do that as I don't have a huge yard. I've spoken with FornoBravo and it seems their staff lacks experience in baking full loads of bread in their ovens. 

Any feedback would be awesome, 

Mike

BobSponge's picture
BobSponge

Hi Mike,

I have been baking bread for about a year in our 2G and still learning.  Normal process is to fire on Saturday afternoon for pizza that evening and then use the oven for the next 5 days.   We have baked as many as two batches for a total of  around fourteen 1 kg, loaves (bread I target 400-450 degree baking).   Normally heat Saturday until the carbon is burned off.  At this point my walls are around 900 and the floor well over 1K.   Generally we make between 12 and 20 pizzas, between 6:30 and 8:00 with a small fire burning the whole time.  After pizza is done and fire is out, I rake the coals evenly over the floor of the oven and close the door.

Next morning, almost without fail, the oven has an air temp of 550, and a floor temp of 600, I clean out the oven and let it sit for about 45 minutes before baking bread.  Temp only falls a bit after cleaning out. 

In the past, we would steam the oven with a garden sprayer, load bread and it would bake pretty quickly.   After the first batch, would steam again and load the second it would take a little longer to bake.  Not done two loads for awhile, but I don't recall the temp dropping a lot between batches.  Pretty sure you would be able to do another batch with this method, I never did.  I have done three batches of bread, but the last batches would have been sandwich bread needing a much cooler oven, around 350 and that was usually done much later in the afternoon.  I'm not very efficient with loading, but I'm now doing eight 850g loaves of bread in a batch.  You might be able to fit a couple more in a batch.

I think your challenge for multiple batches will be a tradeoff between steaming and maintaing a good baking temp.   My process has recently changed.  I now put a pan of steel washers in the oven after cleaning out. Just before loading, fill the pan with boiling water and shove to the back of the oven.   Next, load the bread and then mist the oven with the "mother of all sprayers"  This process causes the oven to drop from 550 to 400, but it is the only way I have been able to get consistent oven spring and great crust.  Not tried a 2nd batch with this new process, since 8 loaves is enough for us and our neighbors. 

My guess is I'm an "over steamer", and over the next few bakes, will be working on that.  With experimenting and tradeoffs between steam and keeping the oven warm, I'm sure you could get a more batches of great bread that cooks in the 450 range and still have lots of retained heat for other lower temp bread cakes and cookies.

 

 

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Mike,

Both ovens are flawed for exclusive bread baking. The modular ready made ovens do not have the thermal mass for continual heat retention for multiple loads of bread. The Scott oven act as a heat sink, because the insulation is under the slab rather than the hearth. If I was re-building my oven for a business in bread baking, I would modify the Scott design, by placing the oven itself upon ceramic fiber board insulation, no part of the oven touching the support structure. The brick top of the oven would be covered with ceramic fiber blanket, build a structure around that and fill it with vermiculite. 

mikeortelle's picture
mikeortelle

So, if I have my mason build the Forno with added vermiculite over the top, I should have the needed mass for retention?

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Mike,

If you`re going with the Scott design, which is a heavily cladded oven, and if you do 2 runs a day, you should have enough retained heat to cut a large amount of time off re-firing for next day, which saves in fuel cost. I still would not go vermiculite alone, if it going to be a business, invest in the ceramic fiber boards and blankets, you won`t be sorry. If you go half-brick, 100-150 loaves will take many firing to complete the job. If you bake 6 or more loaves at one time, you don`t need additional steam, with the exception of baguettes, which should have an energizing early dose of steam. If your mason is not an oven builder, do not allow him to talk you into placing your chimney in the back or center of your oven. Also have your venting area in front, lower than baking chamber and in front of the door closure. So that when you close the door there is no heat lost up the chimney, because it in front of the door and not behind it.

mikeortelle's picture
mikeortelle

The Forno I'm looking at is the Premio2G120 which says it has capacity for up to 30 1k loaves. I have done some measurements and it looks like I can get about 20-30 of my loaves. With that said, I will likely need to have anywhere between 3-5 bakes in a day. The Forno has the blankets and I will be doubling the ceramic board for a total of 5" of ceramic base. My mason is an independent dealer for Forno bravo so he does have experience installing. 

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Sounds as if you`re in good hands. Good luck and keep us posted.

Laurentius

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Sounds as if you`re in good hands. Good luck and keep us posted.

Laurentius