Lovingly Artisan go greener with a Polin Wood Pellet Oven

Lovingly Artisan, Northwest based multi-award winning bakery wanted to look to reduce their overall environmental impact and examine how best to fuel a new oven to achieve a substantial reduction in energy usage and we were delighted to work alongside them on this.

What were the key considerations for their oven?

Alongside meeting the demand for Loving Artisan’s bread, key considerations were:

Bread texture and crust quality
The baking quality and colour
The ovens compatibility with production methods
Energy and environmental impact
Baking times and production flow
Space in the bakehouse

How did they decide?

Owner Aidan Monks and Head Baker Dean Fletcher travelled down to Somerset to meet with the team and take advantage of a full test bake in a Polin oven. The team spent the day, trialling the ovens and integrated loading system, tracking and assessing the bake profile required for their bread range, considering the oven capacity required and looked at the implications of opting for a wood-pellet burner and what that might involve.

After some pretty stringent testing Aidan and Dean decided to opt for a wood pellet burner fuelled steam tube oven, with four decks, giving the team a 10.6m² baking surface capacity to work with. The Polin steam tube style oven is a sophisticated piece of kit, it’s fully controllable and produces a final product that is vastly different from that of a bread baked in a conventional electric or gas fired oven. Due to the mellow yet strong heat transfer, you get a much deeper complex flavour and an amazing crust, something that you just can’t achieve otherwise.

Why the Polin Wood Pellet Oven?

The new Polin oven, manufactured by Polin and installed by us, gives the northwest based family-run bakery an increased 50% capacity for bread-making to meet ever growing customer demand.

A wood pellet oven is classified as ‘zero emission’ because the pellets being burnt are made from compressed sawdust, a by-product from forestry operations. Which means they only release the same amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by wood into the atmosphere that would be released during the normal decomposition cycle. Resulting in an impact on the environment equal to zero, unlike fossil fuels, such as gas and coal, which are currently used to produce most of the electricity used by conventional ovens.

Why it’s important for the bakery?

For Aidan and his team this isn’t a whim, it’s about caring about what they do. Not just in terms of treating the bread right but it’s about caring for our environment too. Baking by its very nature is energy resource intensive, requiring ovens to burn at temperatures between 200℃ - 240℃ during baking and then you’ve got all the energy that’s used to get the oven up to temperature in the first place.

Aidan Monks co-owner commented: “We’ve seen an increase in demand for our products from both consumers and the hospitality trader and in order to meet that demand we needed to upgrade our existing baking ovens, which were originally installed by Brook  in 2013 when we moved to Plumgarth’s. We’ve acquired Polin ovens, which are manufactured just outside Verona in Italy are renowned for their durability and reliability. They have over 90 years of artisan bakery experience behind them, and we wanted to go with the best in the business to ensure that we could meet our existing demand, ensure that we have additional capacity to meet any future demand, and reduce our overall energy usage and become even more environmentally friendly in line with our Green Small Business environmental business strategy.’’

Brook Food Processing Equipment said: ‘’ We were blown away by their passion for the business and the messages they promote, sustainability, using new and ancient grains and the effects of bread of gut health. Spending just a few minutes chatting with Aidan and Catherine would fail to leave anyone without admiration and excitement for their bakery and brand, what they do is hugely unique.”

The oven sits at the hub of the bakery and we feel honoured to be part of their mission to go greener.