Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pan de Mie in a Pullman Pan

I'd been wanting to try this bread form for some time and finally came across a recipe that I found reasonable. Of course, the real unreasonableness here is needing a specific pan just to make this style of bread. But, it does make a super-spongy loaf that is far superior for sandwiches.

Pan de Mie in a Pullman Pan
From A Garden for the House blog

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 2/3 c milk, scalded then cooled
4 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
6 T unsalted butter, cold

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Mixing the dough — Pour flour, milk, salt, and the yeast mixture into the bowl of your standing mixer. Blend at low speed for about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium for 2 minutes, or just until the dough masses on the hook attachment. Let rest for 2-3 minutes; blend at medium speed for another 2 minutes. Let rest while you prepare the butter.

Pounding the butter — Use your rolling pin to smash down the cold butter. You want the butter to become malleable, but not so soft that it becomes oily. Scoop up the flattened butter with your pastry-scraper, and carry it to standing mixer.

Adding the butter to dough — With the mixer running at medium speed, add the butter one 1/2 tablespoon or so at a time. Stop the machine once all of the butter has been incorporated into the dough.

The first rise — Dump the dough, which should be sticky but elastic at this point, onto a lightly-floured board. Pat the dough out, then fold it over on itself 3 times. Place the dough in the large bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it slowly rise until tripled in volume — about 3 hours in a 75 degree kitchen.

Deflating the dough, and the second rise — With floured fingers, deflate the dough and pour it out onto your lightly floured board. Then quickly wash out and dry the bowl. Fold the dough over on itself 3 times, just as you did in step 4. Return the dough to the clean bowl, cover, and let rise to almost triple — which this time will take about 2 hours.

Forming the dough, and the third rise — Pat the dough out, fold it over on itself, then use the side of your hand to seal the edges. Then flip the dough so the sealed edge is on the bottom. Now, using the side of your hand, karate-chop a ridge down the center of the dough. Then fold at the ridge and karate chop again to seal. Repeat the karate-chopping and folding once or twice more, until the surface of the dough appears fairly smooth. Then pinch the underside of the loaf to seal. Place the formed loaf in its pan; cover the pan with plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough reaches 1 inch (not more!) from the top of the pan — about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 435F; set rack at the lower-middle level.

Baking – 40 minutes at 435F. Slide the lid over the pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Remove the lid and gently release the loaf onto a cooling rack. To increase air-circulation and thus quicker cooling, place the rack atop the lidless Pullman pan. Let the bread cool thoroughly before slicing.

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