Artisan bread has become über-popular in recent years. So, having an artisan product as we do in the shape of our wood-fired ovens (great for cooking artisan breads, incidentally), we decided to compare artisan bread with our artisan ovens and see if we share anything in common. Read on to find the ways in which artisanship’s qualities are shared by both.
1. Hand-crafted with love
Clay is still worked and shaped with exquisite attention to detail; pieces are fitted by craftsmen who take ownership of their production. Even mosaic tiles are hand-applied and special features hand-painted by artists.
2. Quality ingredients
In the case of Valoriani’s artisan wood-fired ovens, high quality ‘ingredients’ are also used. This is ‘cotto’ clay – high-quality refractory clay that is perfect for firing-up brick and which is used within our oven builds. It’s also brilliant at retaining as
much heat as possible within the oven construction, especially when combined with first-class insulation materials.
The ‘mass produced’ wood-fired ovens – and even ones manufactured in much lower volumes – lack this quality of material and struggle to fire up their domes. To ‘speed up’ they have to use their equivalent of bread’s chemical and mixers, building micro-mesh metal into their dome construction, indeed if they have a dome at all or just trying to make sub-standard materials heat up. Any scientist will tell you that metal contracts and expands during the heating process, putting strains on the materials around it. Quick disintegration tends to be the result. That just never happens on our Valoriani artisans’ watch!
3. Long production life
The longer the production process for artisan bread, the longer the shelf-life. This is also true of Valoriani’s artisan domestic and commercial ovens. By taking time and care over their construction, the Valoriani family and their team of artisans in Reggello, Italy, create ovens that last 15 or 20 years, or longer, with these periods being common lifespans for ovens, even when used day in, day out in commercial environments. And, of course, if you are a really keen home cook, there’s nothing to stop you having a commercial-grade oven at home. Your oven will help you put on an artisan masterclass every time.
On the other hand, some of our domestic ovens find a great home in restaurants. When you have an artisan product, the possibilities are numerous.
4. Superior flavour and texture
Valoriani wood-fired ovens are also able to cook any texture of food you want, whether that’s crisp pizza, succulent pulled pork or gooey dessert. They are not just one-trick ponies for pizza and, because their heat is so controllable, can cook a huge variety of dishes, at different temperatures. Learning how to do this is part of the joy of being a Valoriani owner.
5. Wooing through aroma
Artisan bread makes people happy. 89% put that down to the smell and 69% say it evokes joyous memories. These memories relate to mothers in around a third of cases, childhood in 20% of cases and home-life in 16% of those surveyed.
Our wood-fired ovens also bring happiness to homes, becoming the centre of the family occasions with which artisan bread eaters’ happy memories seem to be associated. They can act as a glue that brings families together for meals and gatherings, for parties and socials, for evening chats on the patio, whilst a dish cooks in the oven, and for Sunday roasts with a unique twist. They are truly ‘happiness-bringers’ to families across the UK, in just the same way as artisan bread.
Cooking artisan bread in an artisan oven
So, there are clearly a number of shared facets to both artisan breads and our artisan-built, handcrafted Valoriani ovens. However, it does not need to be an either/or scenario, as our ovens are actually also ideal for cooking artisan breads, whether you wish to do that as a home cook, a restaurant chef or a full-time artisan baker.
hours, let alone overnight. But that’s the beauty of an artisan product …
If you would like to know more about our artisan ovens, just call us on 01772 250000.