The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mods on a Blodgett?

kevinbrode's picture
kevinbrode

Mods on a Blodgett?

Hi All,

Just picked-up a used Blodgett 951, and have seen some references to possible "mods" to this deck oven.  I'm assuming the mods are for stones on side/top, thermostat tweaks, etc...  Anyone out there using a Blodgett that they have modified?  If so, why?...and what have you gained?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Kevin

Standing Stone Breads

wildrisebread's picture
wildrisebread

hello Kevin - don't know if you saw my post - it was blocked for some reason. I'm considering a 951 w/ stones to move up from my home ovens and a commercial convection to bake artisan breads. I'm wondering if you can share any advice about using yours. I'm looking at a steam injection unit for this. The boiler is the expensive part. Any info would be useful.

Thanks, Matt

kevinbrode's picture
kevinbrode

Hi Matt,

I use two 951s to bake in our current "cottage business" that is about to become a real business.  I have the steam unit (Reimers AR8) and the steam "wands", but I have not installed them yet.  We are getting ready to move into a new facility, so the cost of installing the steam unit and plumbing just didn't make sense.  We will be installing all in the next several months.  Currently, I use glass bowls (Big Pyrex) to place over the loaves I bake in the Blodgett.  A real pain, but they currently get the job done.  I can bake 8 loaves, covered with bowls per oven.  Not the best, but manageable.  Good solid ovens, but you will find a few hot spots.  In mine, I have placed firebrick along the back to reduce the heat that was coming up the back wall.  I'd like to do the same on the sides, but I can't afford to reduce the floor-space any more.  Still working with the side vents to understand how they affect the bake.

As for steam, when I contacted Remiers, they said the AR8 was necessary to supply two units.  Not certain what unit they would recommend for one oven.  You may be able to find one used...I did.  Hope this helps.  Anything else you would like to know?

Kevin

www.standingstonebreads.com

wildrisebread's picture
wildrisebread

Thanks for the response Kevin. It sounds like a bit of work w/ the glass bowls, but a good solution. I've been experimenting w/ steel bowls, and have thought of bolting some metal handles on these to make it easier to lift them on and off, but haven't done that yet. I imagine the glass bowls are pre-heated, although maybe its more about capturing the steam? I've used the cast iron combo-cookers for years in my home oven with excellent results, so I suppose that I could invest in a number of those to continue getting a good oven spring and a beautiful open crust, w/o investing immediately in a stem injection unit.

The oven I'm looking at is refurbished and selling for about $1700. It looks great with new stones. but I'm still in the planning stages for a bake house (about 2 years away), but I hate to pass up a deal such as this.

From your website it looks like you've got a nice operation going. I've just moved to another level this past year by baking in a commercial kitchen w/a proofer and a convection oven w/ steam. Some lovely breads w/ a moist crumb and good oven spring, but the top crust doesn't crack open like I think it should. I'm starting a subscription bread service this fall using that facility, but would love to bake using an oven like the 951s.

I've done some short stints w/full-time bakers and I know the workload is intense, some I am trying to enter the work by trying out some lower volume strategies while I see how well my area supports artisan breads. (plus I have another full-time+ job)

I've got more questions and no doubt you are mighty busy, but maybe I could contact you via phone or skype for more in-depth conversation? Let me know.

best,

Matt

kevinbrode's picture
kevinbrode

Matt

That would be fine.  More than happy to try and help.  If you go to our website (standingstonebreads) dot com with no spaces, you will find my mobile number.  I'm on Eastern time (US)

 

Kevin