One of my favorite kitchen gifts I bought for myself was this Pain de Mie pan. I love it. So does Gene. With it's perfectly square body and sliding lid it makes for just the right sized sandwich bread with more flavor and less glue-y ickness than store bought white bread. I use this pan and Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe all the time.
On one very warm day in my kitchen, after coming home from errands that ran unexpectedly long, I found this little gem of overabundance, which made me laugh and reach for a mini loaf pan.
That became this:
Yum. MORE bread is never a problem!
The recipe itself is wonderful, rich and soft without being mushy. I'll give you Rose's recipe as written which makes for a great sandwich bread without or without the special pan, I highly recommend this book as well as any of Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookboosk. The Cake Bible is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. Next week I'm going to make the prosciutto with chianti ring. Doesn't that sound lovely?
Pullman Loaf Sandwich Bread (Pain de Mie)
By Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Bread Bible
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury)
1/4 cup dry whole milk
1 Tbsp dry instant yeast
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 liquid cups water (70-90 degrees F_)
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
In a large mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, dry milk, and yeast. Add the butter and mix with the dough hook on low speed (#2 if using Kitchen Aid), then add the water, honey, and salt. When all the flour is moistened, raise the speed to medium (#4 on KA) and beat for 7 minutes. The dough will be smooth, shiny, and slightly sticky to the touch. If the dough is not stiff, knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky, spray it with a little water and knead it in. It will weight about 38.5 ounces/1102 grams
***Just a personal note here, I smiled when I saw the grams and realized that we have babies in the NICU who weigh less than this loaf of bread. That's amazing to me.***
On a lightly floured counter, shape the dough into a football. Flour the top and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow to relax for 10-15 minutes. Removed the plastic wrap and gently deflate the dough, using your fingertips to spread it into ar ectangle about 10" x 8" wide. Flour the counter as necessary to keep it from sticking.
Give the dough one business-letter turn, then press or roll it out again to about 12" x 5" and shape it into a 16" loaf. Set it in the prepared pan. Grease the top of the pan and slide it into place, leaving it a few inches ajar so that you can gauge the progress of the rising dough. Cover the exposed area with plastic wrap if not using a proof box. cover the pan with a large container or set it in a warm area, allow it to rise until it is about 1/2 inch below the top of the lid, approx 1-1 1/2 hours. When the dough is pressed with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill in.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees 30 minutes before baking. Do not use an oven stone.
Bake for 30 minutes. Gently slide off the lid and continue baking about 30 minutes or until browned.
Remove bread from the oven and unmold it onto a large wire rack. Cool it top side up until barely warm, about 1 hour to make for easier slicing.