I bought my pullman bread pan many years ago, like 5 or 6, maybe 7 years ago, no idea exactly when, but it was a long time ago! It has not been sitting idle in my pantry cupboard, I have used it before for baking other breads, but have not made any pullman bread, as it was meant to be used for! Finally, a few weeks ago, I decided to try a Pullman Bread recipe from one of my favourite baking book, Nick Malgieri's, "Bread".
The bread dough is mixed as usual as per the instructions in the recipe below. As for the shaping of the dough before the final rising, I have made some changes, which can be found, noted in blue, from the instructions (at no. 8) in the recipe. Simply because the first time when I've made this bread by following the instructions in the shaping, the shape of my bread turned out funny! With some spaces and bumps on the surface, not a pretty sight! Obviously I need to practice more on the shaping. So on my second attempt, instead of following Nick Malgieri's way of shaping the dough, I have adjusted to my simple way of shaping it, which works fine for me.
Once I have shaped the dough, it is placed in the Pullman pan for the final rising, with the lid on, but only two-thirds of the way in. When the dough has risen to about 1/2" below the level of the pan, slide the lid to close the pan completely and proceed to bake as per the instructions below.
Baked out great. Perfectly flat at the top with nice light golden colour.
The sides are a little pale in colour, I actually removed the bread from the pan and placed it on a baking tray, and bake for about 5 more minutes, but it makes no difference to the colour. I'm afraid of drying out the bread if baked it longer, so I took it out from the oven and left it to cool on a wire rack.
I guess the colour does not really matter!
The texture inside is moist, soft and fluffy.
See how soft the bread is. It is a keeper recipe!
I have made this bread a couple of times. And it makes a lovely sandwich bread. Another plus is, it stays as soft on the third day! Be sure to wrap it in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container.
Pain de Mie (French Sandwich Bread)
(adapted from "Bread", Nick Malgieri)
Makes one 9-inch long loaf
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons/200gm whole milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon/100gm room-temperature tap water, about 75F
2-1/4 teaspoons/7gm fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
1 tablespoon/14gm sugar
3-1/2 cups/470gm unbleached bread flour
(spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
2-1/2 tbsps/40gm unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp/9gm fine sea salt (1 tsp)
One 9x4x4-inch covered Pullman pan or one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan,
brushed with soft butter and sprayed with vegetable cooking spray
- Whisk the water and yeast together in the bowl of an electric mixer, then whisk in the cooled milk and sugar.
- Use a large rubber spatula to stir the flour into the liquid. Scrape the side of the bowl and continue mixing until no dry flour remains visible. Distribute the butter in 8 or 10 pieces on the dough.
- Place the bowl on the mixer with the dough hook and beat on the lowest speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the salt and beat the dough on medium speed until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl, turn it over so that the top is oiled, and let the dough ferment until it is almost doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a floured surface. Flatten the dough to a disk. Fold the two sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten, and repeat. Return the dough to the bowl smooth (bottom) side upward, and let it rise until fully doubled, 30 to 45 minutes longer, depending on the room temperature.
- Invert the dough to a floured work surface and divide it in half. One piece at a time, pull the dough to a rough rectangle and tightly roll if from the farthest long end toward you, jellyroll style, pinching the end of the dough to seal. Leave the pieces of dough on the work surface seam side up and cover loosely with a cloth or oiled plastic wrap; let rest for 20 minutes. (my changes : did not do this step, refer to the my step at no 8)
- To form the loaf, place both pieces of dough 1/4 inch away from each other on a floured work surface. Grasping one of the short ends with each hand, twist the dough in opposite directions to make an interlocked spiral. (Instead of dividing the dough into two, I pulled the whole piece of dough into one rough rectangle, roughly the length of the pullman pan, and roll it jelly-roll style, tightly. Then I hold the two ends together and twist three times along the length of the dough, proceed as per step 9).
- Slide both hands, palms upward, under the twisted dough and invert it, seam side down, into the prepared pan. Slide the cover about 2/3 of the way across the top of the pan. Let the loaf proof until it is about 1 inch away from the top of the pan.
- Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400F.
- Once the dough has risen so that it is only 1/2 inch away from the top of the pan, slide the cover closed and place the pan in the oven. Decrease the temperature to 375F and bake for 25 minutes.
- Without removing the pan from the oven, use oven mitts to slide the cover off the pan. Continue baking until the internal temperature of the dough is over 200F, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and unmold it onto a rack to cool. Wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature if using the same day, or double wrap and freeze for longer storage.
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