Monday, February 7, 2011

Pullman Loaf ...aka Pan de Mie

I thought this would be the loaf to end all store-bought loaves.  The white loaf, that is.  My oldest is set in his ways and must have a loaf of white bread in the house.  He'll eat a whole grain white or the occasional oatmeal or potato loaf.  He tries every loaf I bake...except pumpernickel.  But there's just something about that good ol' loaf of white sandwich bread that has him hooked.  So, I bought myself a Pullman pan.  Although, I didn't buy the lid...that's next.  I armed myself with a well-reviewed recipe.  I was prepared to be store-bought-white-bread-free.  Well.  I was ready for a revelation that never came about.  Sure, it was good.  But it still wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  I mean, I'll probably even make it again.  It did taste pretty much like a typical white sandwich bread...it wasn't that.  I think it was the structure that wasn't quite "right" for me.  Could it have been that I used potato starch flour instead of potato flour...is there even a difference?  It was a bit crumblier than I thought it would be.  Although, in all fairness to the recipe, that was probably my fault.  I improvised by using a make shift lid...errrr, ahhhh...sheet pan with a weight on top.  So I probably messed up the integrity of the loaf.  If I had just let the top be domed, it may have worked.  That said, I'll try it again before I make my final decision...and I'll let you know the results.  And I'll try it again when I order my lid.  Plus, I have a few more variations on a Pullman loaf bookmarked.  I want to try a wheat version, as well.  I used the bread machine method.
Pullman Loaf (white) or Pain de Mie
    recipe from King Arthur Flour
makes 1 loaf

2/3 c. (5 3/8 oz.) milk
1 c. (8 oz.) water
6 Tbs. (3 ounces) butter, soft
2¼ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. (1¼ oz.) sugar
1/4 c. (1 1/8 oz.) nonfat dry milk
3 Tbs. (1¼ oz.) potato flour I used potato starch flour
4¾ c. (20 oz.) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. instant yeast

Manual Method: In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar. Add the dried milk, flours and yeast, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and supple. Because of the relatively high fat content of this dough, it's a real pleasure to work with. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients as above, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough and proceed as follows.

Lightly grease a 13 x 4" pain de mie pan. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, shape it into a 13" log, and fit it into the pan. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise until it's just below the lip of the pan, 45 mins-1 hour, it depends on the warmth of your kitchen.

Remove the plastic, and carefully place the cover on the pan, let it rest an additional 10 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, remove the lid, and return to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
A few observations when making this loaf...the dough is super soft after first rise in machine.  I turned it out onto buttered cutting board...and was able to sort-of fold dough lengthwise into thirds to make a log-ish shape and lift up into greased pan quickly.  Mine took ~50 minutes to rise to top.  Since I don't have a lid for my pan yet, I greased some foil instead and set a sheet tray on top for a little weight (kind of worked...spilled out just a bit over edges, but basically square!)
Made a good peanut butter and jelly!
Okay, so from what I've heard and read so far, POTATO STARCH and POTATO STARCH FLOUR are the same thing. Why would they stick the word flour in there?  Sheesh.  As long as the word starch is in there, it's starch.  POTATO FLOUR is dehydrated and ground potatoes.  I think that is correct.  I'm sure you'll tell me if it's not.  Starch is...well...starchy...like corn starch.  Flour is thicker.  I don't know.  I have never seen Potato Flour in any of "my" markets.  I know you can order it through King Arthur.  I really don't think that the three tablespoons in this recipe made that big of a difference.  But...

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BYOB