The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Haussler Ovens

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

Haussler Ovens

Hello All,
 
Does anyone have experience with Haussler ovens? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions. I am looking to start a cottage bakery, baking 2-3 times a week for farmers markets and maybe a CSB. The specs and design of the Hausslers  make them seem like they might be a good option (specifically the INO 2004 or 2006 in a 2 deck configuration), but I have yet to run across anyone that used them extensively and written about it.

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

If you search this forum you will find some small amount of information.

I too am considering the Haussler INO 2004 but am finding support in the US less than satisfactory. As far as I know Pleasant Hill Grain is the only source for the Haussler line and they have been pretty bad at providing any real, quantifiable information. Before plopping down over $5,000 for an oven I'd like to know if it will bake to my standards and they have not been able to provide me with any real-world experience - either from a current user or from a demo set-up in their own facility.

PHG has been acting as middlemen between me and Haussler, forwarding my questions and waiting for responses but after one simple exchange the information flow has stopped. I tried emailing Haussler directly but they didn't respond. In my last exchange with PHG I told them that their silence spoke volumes about the future of customer support for this oven.

The real kicker here is that I am in the midst of a major kitchen renovation and had great hopes of including one of their ovens. I even reserved the real estate in the plan. Now I have to consider other options, of which there are few when it comes to deck ovens marketed to the residential client.

Another TFL contributor told me that the INO line is actually manufactured by IME, and if you search the internet for IME ovens you will find some familiar pictures there. Haussler rebrands the IME product and sells it under their name. I cannot find any reference to IME distribution in the US.

Best of luck in your search and I'd be interested in any information you can provide. Thus far my interest in the Haussler/PHG distribution channel is fading fast.

 

Jim

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

My experience has been similar. If you don't mind my asking, what other options are you considering?

 

Josh

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

I am caught between a rock and a hard place due to health department licensing restrictions here in Vermont. If I apply as a "small commercial bakery" I can use commercial equipment (Hobart, Blodgett, Baker's Pride etc.) but I will have to undergo a very expensive wastewater study for the property. If I apply as a "home bakery" I can bypass the wastewater issue but I cannot use any commercial equipment. This is why I pursued the Haussler INO line because it is marketed for residential use.

Right now I have, and would like to continue using, a Blodgett 911-P fitted with a Reimers steam generator. The problem is that I cannot use that equipment under the "home bakery" exclusion.

I really don't have any solution at this time and I have searched and searched.

 

No Pain No Gain's picture
No Pain No Gain

Hello my friend,

I am a home baker in NY who sells bread for a living at my local farmers market.  I am looking to upgrade my oven situation and I have run into the same problems you were describing were commercial equipment is not an option.  Could you please tell me, did you ever get the Haussler oven, and are you happy with it?  Or did you find another solution.

 

Thanks very much!


Dan

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

I started out with a Blodgett 911-P and traded it for a Doyon Artisan 3T1, I am using the Doyon and I love the oven. Right now, in Vermont, the Health Department licensing is triggered by a dollar value in gross sales. In other words, if you go above a certain sales volume you will need a licenses to sell your breads. I am currently staying below the base sales trigger point and remaining very small. If I do decide to increase my sales I will probably move towards a commercial license and adapt my property to accommodate the requirements. I think it will be the path of least resistance.

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

I ended up getting the Haussler, and have been using it regularly since April. For the cost, its a pretty decent oven, depending on your needs and what you have available. If you're expecting a $50K Bongard deck oven for ~$11K, you'll be sorely disappointed. But for something that is (relatively) low cost and runs on single phase 220v power, it works well, and is relatively bomb-proof. A lot of the parts are stocked by Pleasant Hill Grain, so I don't have to order from Austria if something breaks (an advantage over the Polin Stratos, which was my other choice, for about 2x the price). I manage to squeeze 10-12 1kg loaves per deck, the bake takes about 50 min, and it takes about 30 minutes for the decks to recover between bakes (similar to a wood fired oven). The biggest challenge is getting adequate steam into the thing. There is no plumbed steam injection, and the steam tray that it comes with is mediocre at best. The best solution I've come up with so far is using a Wagner steam cleaner to inject steam via the exhaust port before and after the bake. if you want to see the results I've been getting so far there are photos on Instagram at @littlebearbread. There's definitely still room for improvement in my processes, as well, so you might be able to coax better results out of it.

No Pain No Gain's picture
No Pain No Gain

Thanks for sharing your story and link to your website. I have been running a similar home-based bakery in upstate NY. Your bread looks wonderful, and I am intrigued by the idea of the CSB.  I currently bake on a set of Rofco B20s, which do a great job with oven spring, but are quite uneven and require the bread on the top and bottom decks to be rotated midway through the bake.  They are also a bit of a chore to use because they are so low to the ground. Out of curiosity, what were you baking on before the Haussler?  The Hausslers would certainly offer me more baking capacity, but I am wondering if they would also outperform the Rofco. Also, did you decide on the 2004 or 2006?  Thanks so much!

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

I ended up getting the 2006-2, so I can do about 20 loaves at a time, and a farmer's market is usually three+ bakes and some cookies and pastries. The sweets also mostly get done in the Haussler as the temp falls. Each deck will handle 2 full sheet pans, which speeds up production and saves power over using the home range oven. Prior to having these I had spent a few years baking professionally on a couple Bongards and a Llopis, and all that fun stuff. I had been fine tuning my own recipes in a home oven loaded with fire bricks. With the Haussler, you still have to rotate the loaves if the oven is stuffed, since the front will be a bit cooler than the back. But I had to do the same thing in a 4 deck Bongard. Its hard to completely overcome thermodynamics (though I've seem some really nice expensive deck ovens that can do it, especially if they're loaded perfectly). The one thing you might have to consider is the weight of the thing. I had to reinforce my kitchen floor before I could get it delivered.

No Pain No Gain's picture
No Pain No Gain

Thanks again for sharing your wealth of experience here.  I just have to ask the question I've been wondering my whole life...How much better is the "real thing" compared to something like the Haussler or Rofco?  Is there a level of crust and oven spring that you simply can only acheive with the big deck oven, or is it simply the case that they allow you to acheive those results a little easier, but you can essentially get the results on one of these home-approved devices once you know how they work?  I love working from home, but sometimes I've felt driven to take the jump and try to get a real commercial space with the idea that my breads would be on a completely different level with a commercial steam deck oven.  

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

If you have the money to spend on a good, big one (TMB, Bongard, etc. or Llopis if you want to go wood fired) and know how to use it well, a commercial deck oven will produce better bread with the same dough. For all that cash you get a few things you can't get in a home oven, namely:

- Thermal mass. These things weigh tons, which means they don't drop in temperature much when you load them, which results in a faster, more even bake, and no waiting for recovery between bakes.

- Plumbed, powered steam injection (except the Llopis), so you can use as much steam as you want (within reason, to get exactly the crust, etc. you want without sapping the heat energy away from the thermal mass to create steam.

- Not to mention the loaders saving your back and your loading mistakes.

All that will set you back a pretty penny, though. If you've never used one, and are considering going that route, I'd highly recommend working somewhere that uses one extensively for a while. Baking at volume is a very different beast, and if you can learn the skill and the equipment on someone else's dime (not to mention the value of their mentorship), it will save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.  I worked in professional bakeries for almost four years before life changes necessitated me striking out on my own, and I definitely feel like I wish I had more time to learn under other people. Even after a year on my own it still feels too soon.

That said, the Haussler functionally sort of fills a middle ground between a home range oven or Rofco and maybe a wood fired oven. If you're used to troubleshooting with Rofcos, you should feel pretty at home with the Haussler, and the extra thermal mass and baking space will do nothing but make things better once get your systems figured out.

BTW, I'm not sure where in upstate NY you are, but if you find yourself traveling through Western Mass and want to drop by and see the oven and such, feel free to drop me a line. When I was looking at getting this thing, I had to almost do it blind, and hope I could make it work. If it hadn't been for joyofgluten on this site, I'd have no idea what I was getting in to.

debdp's picture
debdp

I'm currently looking at the 2006. Maybe you can help with a couple questions. You ordered the 2 deck 2006. Did each deck have a separate cord and plug and need two outlets or do they connect?  Pleasant Grain only delivers curbside so was it difficult to get both decks installed inside. I was thinking I would need to hire someone/a company to do that. Thank you.

jstumpf's picture
jstumpf

Yes, each one had a separate 220v plug, so the electrician had to wire two 220v lines from the box. The logistics from the curb were interesting. I ended up hiring a moving company. I think it ended up costing about $250. They sent four guys out with nothing more than a little dolly and a ramp. They managed to get it into the house and set up where I wanted it, but dented a side panel in the process. It didn't seem to hinder the function of the oven at all, so I didn't sweat it. I actually had a hard time finding a company that would do it. Of the five I called only one other one would touch it, and the other option was a rigging company, who would charge about $1000. 

debdp's picture
debdp

Thank you.