24 In Baking Equipment/ bread/ Cookery Course/ Gloucestershire/ Rofco

Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco

Successfully baking bread in the Rofco oven

Baking for yourself

It’s quite a shock when you start baking bread for yourself. Justifying a bread oven when you’re not sure how your business will go, is hard. But you soon get very fed up with a domestic oven even using a baking stone  as the temperatures are never high enough nor are they consistent and the flabby crusts will inflame you. What next? Will a Rofco oven be the best solution?

I’ve helped many new Rofco owners and owners-to-be with tips for their Rofco oven. Sign up for an online chat with me. 

The well equipped bakery where I trained

Just one part of the well equipped bakery where I trained with deck oven

Rofco bread oven

The Rofco oven has the same footprint as a washing machine, but is a little taller

Deck ovens

When I was learning to bake in France, it was all too easy to take for granted the equipment we used daily. There were four large deck ovens. Each had three tiers with a “tapis” (a rolling carpet contraption). Here we placed our breads and in particular baguettes to load them in the oven. It was all too easy, at first, to load them incorrectly and end up with bread exactly where you did not want it not be.

To begin with, our tutors switched on the ovens for us to preheat at least 1.5 hours before we need to use them. When had more skills under our belt, we were supposed to set the timer to turn them on at the right time. After forgetting to do so once, you tried very, very hard not to do it again.

The beauty of these ovens is the solid stone ‘floor’. This keeps the heat constant and even. If we wanted steam it was the matter of pressing a button and counting a few seconds. Of course all baking would be like this, wouldn’t it? Crusts perfectly formed and bread baked beautifully

How much power do you need?

Unless you are incredibly lucky, your premises will not have three-phase power. This is what most deck ovens require to function. Three phase power can be prohibitively expensive to install –  another reason to be hesitant before an expensive purchase. Luckily the Rofco oven does not need three phase power.

I visited a few micro bakers and discovered many had a Rofco oven. If you opt for the largest model it is the size of the average washing machine, although a little taller. You have three shelves on which to bake, each with a stone enabling you to bake up to 12 loaves at a time depending on size.

The Brook Foods test kitchen

The Brook Foods test kitchen with the Rofco B40

Brook Foods are the distributor for this oven. I set off to Somerset to find out more about the Rofco in a workshop lead by Adam Pagor of Season Etc. He runs 3 Rofcos in tandem. Not only could I see how the oven works but more importantly got tips and the chance to ask questions. We also had the opportunity to take our own bread to be baked in the oven. I was convinced and decided to purchase.

Some time later with our trusty small trailer in tow we set off to get the Rofco. The “stones” were gently placed in the back of the car – boy were they heavy – and the rest in the trailer. With a bit of muscle power it was easy to get the oven installed.

Baking in the Rofco oven – the essential guide

Whatever oven you have used before, you have to get used to baking in the Rofco oven and find what works for you.  Here I share tips from myself and fellow bakers: Adam Pagor of Season Etc, Nigel Brown of the Green Bakery; Nick from the One Mile Bakery, Cardiff; Sarah Raisbeck; Patrick of Indigo Bakes; Maja Herman; Philippe le Toquin of the Long Slow Bakery, Dan Sumpton; Cynthia Kinihan of Pawling Bread Company

We are all very fond of our baking in our Rofcos, but they do have a few quirks!

Bread in Rofco

Bread ready to come out of the Rofco oven

Stopping bottom shelf hot spots

There are three ‘stones’ which are actually pure chamotte or refractory brick. The bottom stone sits directly on the element which leads to hot spots and uneven heating .

This is a design quirk that is easy to fix. Hopefully Rofco will address this in newer models. We’ve remedied this in various ways:

Patrick has raised the bottom stone by about 1 cm; Maria has placed some metal rods just higher than the elements, Dan has used metal nuts and Adam Pagor suggested using coins. We have placed some metal brackets on their side that are just higher than the elements as the video below illustrates*.

Stop the door sticking

After a few months, it became more difficult to shut the door. I found a little vegetable oil on the catch works wonders.

Power Required

The power rating on the Rofco B40 is 16 amp. The instructions say that you should hard wire the oven into a dedicated 16 amp supply. Most domestic plugs in the UK are fused at 13 amp. We have hard wired in our Rofco as you would a domestic oven through a 13 amp fuse. This has run satisfactorily to date*.

Steam Pods or Garden Sprayer

You can purchase steam pods that sit on the shelves or use a garden sprayer. Most of us use a garden sprayer. Patrick uses pods on the door side and prefers this to using a sprayer. Nigel did purchase some and was pleased with the results, but found they take up a lot of space. He is now achieving good results with a garden sprayer.  Maja’s tip is to be careful not to spray the light as it breaks easily! (Spare bulbs can be found at B&Q).

Pizzas in the Rofco oven

Pizzas bake beautifully in the Rofco oven

Oven stands

You can purchase stands from Brook Foods. Nigel has purchased a bespoke made stand that raises the oven up to make it easier to fill and provides additional storage underneath.

Trays and peels

The metal trays supplied with the oven are prone to rusting. Oil them regularly.

Several of us have plywood boards that have been cut to the width of the oven and slightly deeper. Place bake-o-glide (silicon sheets) on the boards with the bread on top. You then slide the sheet and bread into to the oven in one action. Getting the bread back out is just as easy. Place the plywood board under the silicon and lift. Nigel swears by a metal peel as does Nick. Others have had custom made trays made, for example for foccacia.


We all pre-heat for at least 1.5 hours.

Heat Retention

Baking multiple batches of bread is easy in the Rofco as it retains heat so well. No need to wait between batches. I always plan to use the oven for other items before and after baking the bread. It also cooks roasts to perfection!

Important Temperature Guide for the Rofco

Whereas there is much agreement on the above points, how we bake bread in the Rofco oven is somewhat different. A good oven thermometer is a must. I discovered that the temperature in my oven is about 20 degrees hotter than the dial indicates. Whilst the dial suggests you can bake at 300 degrees, the higher the temperature the more variable the results. Two vents are located on the front of the oven, these can be opened to release steam. You should also check the temperature of each shelf and adjust accordingly. Thanks to Philippe for highlighting this. It’s important if you want your breads all to be the same colour!

I asked the bakers to share how they bake a large loaf typically 750 to 900gr unbaked weight.

Where temperatures 2 and 3 are shown, this is what the temperature is turned down to after heating or a period of baking. Opening vents improves the crust. The table shows when the vents are opened out of total baking time.

Pre heat temp °C Baking Time Temp 2 °C Time Temp 3 °C Time Vents open after Steam
Baker 1 240 16 210 20 20 minutes Pods used
Baker 2 280 10 190 25 250 5-10 minutes 25 minutes Before, on loading, after 3 minutes
Baker 3 230 30-35 After loading
Baker 4 230 24-30 After loading
Baker 5 280 10 220 40 250 30 minutes On loading
Baker 6 250 35 230 37 15 minutes Pods used
Baker 7 230 35 25 minutes Before, on loading
Baker 8 240 16 210 20 20 minutes On loading

Find out more

There’s an excellent Rofco resource curated by Humble Bakehouse.

Brook Foods are the distributor for the Rofco range of ovens in the UK.

Pleasant Hill sell the Rofco in the USA.

Choosing a Rofco bread oven for baking bread

Choosing a Rofco bread oven

Discover my series on baking better bread

Bake Better Bread: Pre ferment – Pâte fermentée

Bake Better Bread: Baker’s Percentages

Bake better bread: Fresh Yeast

Bake Better Bread: Temperature

Bake Better Bread: Autolyse

*I would always advise asking a fully qualified electrician to wire your oven in. I am passing on tips used by bakers but cannot guarantee that they are suitable for you.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Bake Better Bread: Using heat and steam - Severn Bites
    28/05/2019 at 12:27

    […] Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco […]

  • Reply
    Bake better bread: Fresh Yeast - Severn Bites
    28/05/2019 at 14:03

    […] Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco […]

  • Reply
    01/08/2019 at 21:43

    Great article. I think many homes that already have an electric cooker will have it wired into a 30amp circuit so you electrician could do same for your Rocco.

    • Reply
      06/08/2019 at 09:43

      Thanks David.

  • Reply
    Bake Better Bread: Breadmaking equipment essentials - Severn Bites
    05/11/2019 at 17:54

    […] have large sheets that fit the shelves in my Rofco baking oven. These are indispensable. You can use them on top of baking trays and baking stones to make it […]

  • Reply
    Bake Better Bread: Pre ferment - Pâte fermentée - Severn Bites
    04/02/2020 at 12:11

    […] Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco […]

  • Reply
    Michelle Klassen
    03/03/2020 at 13:08

    Thank you so much for the helpful article! I am planning to purchase a Rofco oven within the month and you have given me the confidence to do so. I really appreciated the insight from so many bakers who already own and use the Rofco oven and I feel like my learning curve will be substantially easier after having read this. Thank you for posting this article!

    • Reply
      03/03/2020 at 15:01

      Thank you Michelle. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you get stuck!

  • Reply
    03/03/2020 at 13:56

    Thans a lot for tips on the Rofco oven. I am sure it helps potential buyers to decide & get prepared. It certainly helped me 🙂

    • Reply
      03/03/2020 at 15:00

      Thank you Karolina. Do let me know how you get on!

  • Reply
    Bake Better Bread: Choosing and buying bread flour - Severn Bites
    07/04/2020 at 11:27

    […] Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco […]

  • Reply
    Tanya Woodland
    24/07/2020 at 08:57

    I would like to just say what an amazing help Danielle has been to me this last month. She has given me some great support and advice and I am so pleased and proud of the results! And sharing her knowledge that, to me has been priceless. I am so grateful to have found Danielle and am hoping one day soon to meet and have some face to face sessions!

    • Reply
      26/07/2020 at 11:46

      Tanya, It has been a pure pleasure. I love your enthusiasm and determination.

  • Reply
    Dave Nelson
    09/09/2020 at 16:18

    I’ve just saved this article for near-future reference – I’ll be receiving my B40 in about 8 weeks time, so I’m sure all this information will be invaluable. Thank you!!
    Do you have any idea, even roughly, how much it costs to run one per hour? I’m trying to do some projections on costs and this information would be a great help, if you know??

    • Reply
      09/09/2020 at 18:44

      Hello Dave, Thank you. I’ve sent you an email directly on costings!

  • Reply
    08/11/2020 at 13:58

    I’ve just purchased a rofco b20 so playing around with timings. I noticed someone asking about running costs for the larger model. Do you know the running cost for the b20 or direct me to where I can get this info as starting up my own microbakery and this would be helpful.

    • Reply
      08/11/2020 at 15:05

      There is a way of working it out. The wattage of your oven is listed at 2.5 kW 230v.

      Therefore cost per hour is 2.5 multiplied by the £ cost per kWh from your electricity supplier. You need to factor in how long it is going at full power – assume 50%. eg when it reaches temperature, it will switch on and off to maintain the temperature. It takes 1.5 hours to heat up.

      So if your current electricity rate is 13.48p/kWh (like ours). Cost per hour is £0.168. (2.5 x 0.1348 x 50%).

      Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    15/11/2020 at 11:07

    Thank you BREADBAKERDANIELLE that is helpful. I’m just starting out and trying to factor in costs. Sometimes I’m baking 12-20 loaves in the one bake and other times individual breads. Makes sense to use the rofco for big batches and continue to use my domestic oven for smaller batches.

    • Reply
      15/11/2020 at 20:30

      So pleased it was helpful. Good luck with the baking

  • Reply
    20/11/2020 at 09:08

    Thank you

  • Reply
    30/11/2020 at 00:24

    Is there any way you can show me what the plug on the rofco looks like?

    • Reply
      30/11/2020 at 10:14

      Hello. My Rofco is hard wired in so I cannot show you the plug unfortunately.It is wired in as you would a domestic oven.

  • Reply
    Mike Williams
    16/01/2021 at 08:06

    Hi, we gave rofco b10 for small commercial use at our farm shop. 12 loaves on a Saturday type thing. We have an issue with the bottom shelf being cooler and of course you cant see tge bottom bread cooking. The top shelf cooks fine but bottom in sourdough is light colour and underdone. We tried the nuts under the stone to lift it but it still has same problem just not as bad. We have rofco steam pods on both shelves but i see thermostat is only on top shelf area. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Bake Better Bread: Temperature - Severn Bites
    01/02/2021 at 14:48

    […] Baker Better Bread: Baking in the Rofco […]

  • Leave a Reply