The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Rofco B20 - My experience

bakeyourownAU's picture

Rofco B20 - My experience

Hey there everyone,

How's it going? I hope all is well.

I've just recently started a micro bakery and bought a Rofco B20 and would like to share my experience. 

The Rofco B20 is a Belgium made deck oven consisting of three levels and able to fit 6 900gr loaves approximately. 

As other users have stated here, the oven indeed need some experimentation, and getting used to, but it does wonders when you understand the language it speaks. The logic behind the oven is to heat the stones up at the desired temp for approx 1.5 hours, inject steam and put the loaves in.  

Upon my initial test for temp control and regulation, I had done Ken Forkish's Overnight White Loaf which turned out amazing. I preheated the oven at 250 degrees celcius for 1.5 hours, put the loaves in, injected steam with a garden sprayer then brought the temp down to 200 degrees celcius. I baked the loaves with steam for 20 mins, then let the steam out by opening the little circle openings in the door, then open the door to let all the steam out. 

Upon my test with 2 sourdough loaves, I found these temps were not working well. In my initial sourdough test with two loaves on the top and middle deck, I found the loaves spreading and not getting that oven spring needed. I preheated the oven to 250, dropped it down to 200 like I did previously and injected steam with a garden sprayer. I think one mistake I may have done is spray the water too close to the loaves which ended up cooling the stones down.  I also found that the loaves after releasing the steam from the oven were browning way too quickly at 200 degrees, in literally 7 minutes. 

Upon my second test, I preheated the oven to 250 degrees for 1.5 hours, then dropped the heat down to 180 degrees celcius this time. When spraying for steam, I primarily sprayed the walls this time, and the door, doing 10 second sprays for each level. I also dropped my loaves hydration levels from 75% to 72%. These loaves turned out fantastic I'd say. They jumped right up because of the sudden heat and steam, with great oven spring. I've attached some pictures as well :) (First photo is a white country loaf, an olive loaf and a date and walnut loaf, second photo os a date and walnut loaf and third photo is a white county loaf)

Hope this helps other rofco users as well.


barryvabeach's picture

Thanks for the review,  always helps other users considering that oven. BTW, great looking loaves. 

albacore's picture

Yes, many thanks for your write up of your Rofco experiences. It's always good to read detailed accounts of other bakers oven temperatures and steaming methods, even though I don't own a Rofco.


WeissN's picture

Thanks for writing this! We're really thinking of getting the B20 and this really helps. Based in Israel. Cheers!

bakeyourownAU's picture

Hey everyone,


Thanks for all your replies it truly means alot.

Since my last post, I've been testing the limits of the Rofco B20, and could confidently say its definitely a workhorse oven. I keeps going and going with no problems. 

I've confidently utilized it with 6 batard loaves, and 6 boule loaves very easily. 

One thing I realised though is that loaves in the front need to be shuffled to the back of the oven as the loaves facing the door seem to develop color slower than those at the back. So I usually just bake for 20 minutes with steam, then another 20 mins without steam, then take the ones at the back out, and shuffle the ones in the front to the back for a bit more extra color for 3-5 mins. 

Once you understand the language of your rofco, its an amazing pleasure to work with, especially when your loaves jump right up when the hit the hot stone :) 

I'll be updating this thread again if I discover any new things with my Rofco :) 

albacore's picture

Given that you are preheating to 250C and then dropping to 180C when the loaves go in, would you say that the elements aren't firing for the first 20 minutes?

There's a school of thought that you shouldn't have any top heat for the first 20mins so that the crust can remain soft to permit loaf expansion.

I've not seen it mentioned for commercial deck ovens, though.



bakeyourownAU's picture

Hey Lance,

Yep you are right :) 

Basically, the logic with the rofco's is that the preheating is done to really heat up the stone decks. Within 1.5 hours, they reach approx 250-260 degrees.

Once you put the heat down to 180, it turns off all the elements, only using the residual heat from the stones. When you steam the oven, and utilize the residual heat from the stones, you get amazing oven spring. I'd stay I'm getting even better oven spring now, even when I was using dutch oven. The stones in the rofco's are really thick, and can store heaps of heat. 

At the end of the bake, about 50-55 mins in  total, the stones come down to about 200-210 degrees Celsius, and reheating them back to 250 usually takes a maximum of 10-15 mins. 

Hope this helps :) 

Best Regards,


albacore's picture

Thanks, that all makes sense. I was looking at NFG ovens and they seem to use the same principle: preheat and then switch off the elements completely.

They seem to be the Rolls Royce of this type of oven, with a price tag to match - fully firebrick lined and the heaters are integrated into the top and bottom stones - I can only dream! But your Rofco results look excellent!



NotBadBread's picture

Does anyone know the best way to get one of these ovens (or the slightly larger 40 version) in the US, new or used? I was surprised that the normal googling didn't turn up any promising domestic leads...

hodgey1's picture

Pleasant Hill Grain in Nebraska is the North American distributor.


i think the ovens are back ordered until the fall.

KarlSangree's picture

I have been trying to get my hands on a B20. PHG was my first stop, but as of today (July 2021) they do not expect to have any to sell until March of 2022.

jlow's picture

Hi! I read your post with fascination, as I've just taken delivery of my own Rofco this week and about to take it on its maiden bake voyage. I wondered if you further developed your method of baking for the best rise and ear since you last wrote this post some years ago? Specifically, if you have any tips about what you found to be the best pre-heating, steaming and post-steaming temperatures when baking 6 large loaves? Thanks in advance for any help.