As part of our nutrition club at school, the students often come for a snack whenever they are hungry. The simplest thing for them to do is to grab a bagel, toast it and put some spreadable cream cheese on it, (trust me they tell me when it’s not the spreadable kind). We haven’t managed to get a proper bagel recipe yet, that’s probably our next project. But in the meantime, we have managed to standardize a pain de mie recipe that’s easy to make in our 74 minute time frame. It takes an extra day or two, but that’s OK. For Ms. Brignull’s class, they even used this recipe for a fundraiser where the students made the bread into grilled cheese sandwiches to sell with soup and one-of-a-kind bowls produced by Ms. Levay’s class.
What’s the difference between Pain de mie or a white sandwich bread? Honestly, I’m not sure but a review of sources on the web tells me that’s they are pretty much the same. Pain de mie usually is baked in a loaf pan, like a pullman loaf (square loaf pan) with more sugar than a typical lean bread. We tried baking it in the standard pullman loaf pan with a lid, but the batch size was way too big. Check back soon and hopefully we’ll have updated the recipes to scale properly for it.
360g water (1 1/2 cup)
5g instant yeast (2 tsp)
560g bread flour (4 cups)
48g butter, softened (4 tbsp)
40g sugar (3 tbsp)
11g fine salt (2 tsp)
21g whole milk powder (2 tbsp + 2 tsp)
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve yeast into water.
2. Combine remaining ingredients into the stand mixer bowl, and mix on low speed for 5 minutes (speed 2 on the kitchen aid or speed 1 on the globe mixer).
3. Scrape down the sides, and increase speed and mix on medium for 6-8 minutes, or until full gluten development is achieved (speed 5 on the kitchen aid or speed 2 on the globe mixer).
4. Cover well and rest for 45 minutes. Refrigerate overnight (optional – this will achieve more flavour development and blistering), or simply proceed to the next step.
5. The following day, divide the dough into two 520g loaves, shape into loaf pans that have been greased with non-stick spray and return to the fridge for another day. Note: I avoid flour and instead wet my hands with water liberally when I shape the dough to prevent sticking (and add a little more moisture to the crust).
6. On the third day, kindly ask your teacher to pull your dough 2.5-3 hours prior to the start of your class so that it can baked when you’re in class. If you are baking on the same day, let proof after shaping for 2.5-3 hours.
7. Bake at 390°F for 45 minutes to an hour in a home oven or 365°F for 20-30 minutes in a convection/combi.
8. Remove loaf and bake for an additional 10 minutes on a sheet tray lined with a wire rack.
Baked in a pullman loaf pan, the batch size was a little too big. It needs to be scaled down by 80% in order to be baked with the lid on.
I found that the results are much better with the convection/combi oven, and the three day (cold) fermentation process.