I’m always looking to improve my recipes, and I’m delighted to say that I’ve managed to simplify my recipe for Pain de Mie significantly, without compromising any of the quality.
Although you don’t absolutely need a Pullman pan (a pain de mie pan with a lid) to make this bread, it is highly recommended; it not only shapes the loaf beautifully, it also keeps the crumb fairly close – this is going to make your dainty finger sandwiches even more neat and tidy looking!
I’m going to keep the old recipe up for a little while, as I know this is a popular one, and I’m going to give people a chance to save the old version if they want.
Pain de Mie
- 240 g milk (cold)
- 140 g boiling water
- 10 g instant yeast
- 625 g bread flour
- 30 g sugar
- 15 g salt
- 100 g unsalted butter (cold)
- Weigh the cold milk into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the boiling water.
- Add the yeast, and then sprinkle the flour over the surface. Finally, weigh in the caster sugar and salt.
- Using a dough hook attachment, mix on a medium low speed until the dough has come together, then set a timer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the butter from the fridge and weigh it out onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Envelope the butter within the parchment paper, then bash it repeatedly with a rolling pin to soften.
- Unwrap the butter, and score it with a knife to make 2cm square pieces.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium, and add the butter piece by piece. If any pieces get marooned on the side of the mixer, stop and scrape them back into the dough.
- Once all the butter is completely incorporated, set the timer for an additional 5 minutes.
- The dough should be soft and elastic with a smooth skin. If you hold a piece of the dough up to the light, you should be able to stretch it thin enough to almost see through, without it breaking. If not, continue to knead a few more minutes and test again.
- Cover the dough and let it prove for 45 minutes.
- Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it.
- Press the dough into a rough square shape, then fold one side third in, then the other on top.
- Repeat the folding lengthways so that you have a plump square, then return the dough to the bowl.
- Cover the dough and let it prove for another 45 minutes.
- Spray a 33cm Pullman pan with vegetable oil
- Lightly flour your work surface, then turn out the dough and gently but thoroughly deflate it.
- Encourage the dough into a wide rectangle, a little shorter than the length of the Pullman pan.
- Fold the top edge of the dough down, about a third into the rectangle, then use a dry pastry brush to remove any excess flour.
- Use that fold as the start or a roll, and tightly roll the dough towards you, continuing to dust off excess flour as you go.
- Tuck the ends underneath to hide any ugly bits, then use all your courage and confidence to transfer it quickly and smoothly into the Pullman pan. Put the lid on the pan and close loosely for second prove.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C or fan 210°C.
- When the dough is very close to the top of the pan (about 75 minutes), close the lid completely and put into the preheated oven.
- Bake at 230°C or fan 210°C for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 175°C (fan 160°C) and bake for another 25 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and bake for another 5-10 minutes to brown the top of the loaf.
- Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack. If the sides and bottom are still pale and flimsy, return the loaf to the oven for 5 minutes, inverted on a baking tray.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.