Yesterday I said to myself, “Self, you have a new pullman pan. It is time for you to make pain de mie.”
Of course, three or four weeks earlier, I had said to myself, “Self, you will never be able to make pain de mie without buying a pullman pan.” It is these kinds of vicious circles that end up with me having cupboards full of baking equipment and freezers full of baked goods.
I started the pain de mie process with some trepidation. I didn’t really think that it would turn out like the photos I had seen of the perfectly shaped rectangular loaves.
I used the recipe at King Arthur Flour for 100% Whole Wheat Pain de Mie.
Doesn’t everyone bake with a laptop nowadays?
Added water in here, too.
I weigh out almost everything when baking. Not only is it more accurate, but I think it’s easier.
This is dry nonfat milk.
A lot of King Arthur flour recipes call for potato flour, which is supposed to make the bread softer, give it a better texture, and make it last longer. You can also use dried mashed potato flakes, but since I have drunk the King Arthur Flour kool-aid, I actually have potato flour.
Adding yeast. I actually kind of like that this photo is focused on the bowl instead of my pudgy little hand.
I may need to subtitle this post, “How Much Stuff Could One Person Have Purchased from King Arthur Flour?” But seriously, this dough whisk is awesome. Something about its crazy shape makes it so easy to mix ingredients into dough.
Once I mixed it by hand until everything was incorporated, I threw it into my Kitchen Aid mixer for the kneading.
You can still see butter in the dough. The recipe didn’t say to melt it, so I just cut it into chunks.
Go, Kitchen Aid, go!
I kneaded it for eight minutes.
In the meantime, I sprayed my dough rising bucket. Bet you can’t guess where I got that from.
This is the point where I had to call Mike to get my mixer bowl off the mixer. It didn’t want to be removed.
I threw it into my bucket and pressed it down.
The recipe warned that it might not double because of the whole wheat flour. When I took it out, I didn’t think it had risen much, but you can tell in the photos that it did.
I suck at shaping. I basically did a letter fold, and then rolled it down from the top. But the pan is very long, so by the end I was doing some sort of PlayDoh move to try and lengthen my dough. I doubt this is the recommended method.
Squished into the pan and covered with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray.
After the second rise.
Time to pop on the lid.
Taking the lid off was surprisingly difficult, even though I had sprayed pan and lid with nonstick spray. It went back in the oven to get a little warmer and browner.
Should be 190 degrees. Can you guess where I got that thermometer?
Done! And it made a lot, too. I cut the loaf in half after cooling and put half of it in the freezer. Even so, the loaf weighs about 40 oz (2.5 lbs), so should make about 40 slices, with the usual 1 oz equals 1 slice formula.
The bread is really dense, but soft and chewy. It has a nice flavor from the whole wheat. It is also much easier to cut than the other sandwich loaves I have made, which have been almost too soft. All in all, it turned out very good and much better than I expected. Go Team KAF!