Pain de mie is a French sandwich bread with four square corners baked in a Pullman loaf pan. This simple and easy recipe for Pullman sandwich bread makes a light and fluffy loaf of bread with perfect four square corners. And, it has a delicate soft texture, soft crumb, and delicious flavor.
This recipe will make one 13 x 4 x 4 loaf or two 7 x 4 x 4 loaves (see notes below)
Ensure milk is warm, not hot (about 110 F). Add the yeast, sugar, and egg. Stir and set aside to foam for 5 mins.Pro tip - Instant yeast does not need to be activated but I like to ensure my yeast is good and working for me. You may choose to add all ingredients directly to the flour.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment add the flour. Mix in the salt then add in the yeast mixture.Pro tip - If you do not like kneading, I highly recommend using a stand mixer with the hook attachment.
Knead on medium speed for about a minute scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pro tip - Do not make haste to add additional water or flour at this point because the flour is still absorbing liquid.
Once all the flour is incorporated, knead the dough for three minutes on medium speed until smooth. The dough will be soft and sticky.Pro tip - A soft and sticky dough is a light and airy bread so don't add more flour.
Next, add the soft room temperature butter a little at a time. knead again for 2 minutes until smooth and elastic but still soft.Pro tip - When you add the butter it will seem like the dough is falling apart. Trust the process and keep kneading.
Avoid the temptation to add more flour. We want soft, light, and fluffy brad, and this is only possible when the dough is soft, elastic, yet slightly sticky.Note - If using a stand mixer, you may need to add the reserved flour for kneading to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl. If kneading by hand, use the reserved flour as required for kneading to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface.
Rise and shape
Remove the dough from the mixer bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball.Pro tip - Using a flexible bread scraper does a good job of removing the sticky dough from the bowl.
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in volume.Pro tip - In winter, you may need 90 minutes or more. But in summer, the dough may double in 45 minutes. If you can't attend to it at that moment, de-gas, reshape, and let double in volume again.
When the dough is double in volume invert onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two - to make two loaves.
Start to roll like a jelly roll. Fold from top to the center then again once more towards the end. Pinch the seams together.
Cover loaf pan with plastic wrap or clean kitchen cloth. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes until almost 2 inches from the top rim of the loaf pan.
Once you see your dough is almost halfway up the sides preheat the oven to 380°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5 for at least 10 minutes.
Cover the loaf pan with its lid. Place the loaf pan on the center rack in the hot oven.Pro tip - You want to place the lid on before it rises to the top so you don't ruin the rise.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes for the small loaves and about 45 to 50 minutes for the big loaf. Pro tip - The bread is done - when you tap the bottom of your loaf and you will hear a hollow sound (or between 160° to 180°F).
Partially open the lid and let cool for 10 minutes - before you remove and let cool completely. Take it out of the pan and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth for at least 5 minutes.Pro tip - Wrapping the bread in kitchen cloth will let the steam cool in the bread keeping it soft.
Always let bread rest for at least an hour before you cut - this is the hardest part!! But, it will prevent the steam from escaping and making the bread dry.
Measure all ingredients ahead of time so you don't forget anything at the last minute.
The milk must be warm (not hot) about 110F. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast, similarly, if the milk is too cold it will not activate the yeast.
Though instant dry yeast has a long shelf life, it can get ruined. Always check the expiry of the yeast. If unsure, combine the wet ingredients from the recipe and let stand 5 minutes. If it gets foamy the yeast is good to go if not best to buy fresh yeast or check the temperature of the milk
Keep salt away from yeast as it can kill the yeast. I like to combine it with the flour then add it to the yeast mixture.
A soft loose well-hydrated dough is not necessarily a bad thing, it often will give you soft fuffy bread so don't be tempted to add more flour than mentioned in the recipe.
Kneading is key to making good bread. While kneading by hand can be therapeutic using a stand mixer is easier and quicker
Leave the dough at room temperature to rise until double in volume. While not recommended when in haste you can place it in a warm 100F (not hot) oven this will expedite the rise.
Bread does not have to be time-consuming. You can leave the dough in the fridge to rise for a few hours (even overnight) while you go about your chores. A slow rise will give more flavor to the bread.
Always preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes before you place bread in or the low temperature will spread the dough too much.
You can use ⅔ of the dough into a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman pan (bake for 40 to 45 minutes). Use the rest of the dough to make 6 small buns by simply shaping them into small balls on a baking tray. Let rise and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you