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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 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 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 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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  1. There is a huge difference between potato starch and potato flour. You would not use cornstarch instead of all purpose flour. Same concept. If you are trying to bake gluten free I would recommend Better Batter Flour it is a cup for cup replacememt flour. Otherwise there are great recipes you can use potato always tends to be a little heavy and woodsy tasting. As far as the sheet over the top it is too heavy but the loaf is meant o be flat if you are making sandwich bread there are different recipes for this type of pan. Have fun! The pictures look good.

  2. Certainly looks welcoming to me. Love the crumb and would love you to bake me some.

  3. i', I'm not trying to bake gluten free. I just couldn't locate potato flour and the potato starch was all I could find, so I used that. On the packaging, it said it makes silky textured breads, so I thought perhaps it could substitute. That is why I used the sheet tray, and actually it wasn't heavy enough, that's why I have those funky ends that snuck through the tray and the pan. I was going for flat since I do know that it's meant to be that way. The dough that snuck out the edges was what I was thinking compromised the structure...they were hard compared to the softness of the loaf. Thanks for weighing in.

  4. was Potato Starch Flour...not simply potato starch. Is there a difference? I don't know.

  5. My oldest son is the same..must be white! I first baked a Pullman loaf using a pan and a brick!...James Beard (Beard on Bread) has a good recipe. So I bought a Pullman pan because everyone liked it so much

    I will try this KA version.
    There is definitely a difference between potato starch and potato flour. (I believe it was stated above...think "cornstarch/potato starch and wheat flour/potato flour) If you can't find Potato flour try substituting rice flour...

  6. My mother made bread every day when I was growing up. There's nothing like a club sandwich on white bread. Your loaf looks lovely. Did your son like it?

  7. Wow! What a perfect looking loaf, I'm sure nobody would go back to the store bought white loaf once they taste this airy and soft bread.

  8. A Pullman loaf pan with the lid is on my wish list also. Just seems fun to bake a flat-topped loaf of bread. This looks delicious to me, especially with the pb&j. Wish I knew about the potato starch flour. I bet Natashya does!

  9. I'm sorry the bread didn't turn out the way you wanted it to! I know Tyler Florence has a recipe that Kim made a while ago and loved! Maybe that would work better??

  10. i don't think i've ever seen those pans, but i'll have to keep an eye out since my hubby is addicted to baking. it's a fun shape and beautiful bread!

  11. Pullman loaf pan with lid is the one I would love to have them. Sorry that bread didn't turned out the way you wanted. sure next try you are going to get it right.

  12. Sorry this one didn't do it for you - but there are lots of other pain de mie recipes out there, I'm sure you'll find something you like!

  13. Looks really really delicious to me!!! Now you have me craving peanut butter and jam on some good ol white bread!!! lol :)

  14. wow that is crazy that the pan was too light that is a serious power loaf..very interesting...can't wait for you to try it with the lid...potato starch flour...this is new to me I don't know what that is...the journey continues...hmmm...hats off for the learning and sharing it with us

  15. I know what you mean about the white bread having to be in the house for one or two people. Hubby only eats white and I'm def'ly the whole wheat person. But no matter what, there's nothing like home-made bread. I could just eat it plain or lather it with some butter to melt all over it and think I'm in heaven!

  16. Potato starch is the starch component only removed from the potato.
    Potato flour is whole potatoes dehydrated and ground in to flour.

    Unfortunately, the two terms get interchanged.

    Potato Starch is a great bread softener at a rate of approx. 1/2oz. per pound of flour in a recipe, which in baker's percentages 3.25 percent.
    Anything over 4 percent however seems to slacken the dough. You can experiment with the percentages to see what works for you, but 3.25%, or a half ounce per pound of flour in the recipe is a good starting point.

    The reason to employ potato starch instead of potato flour is that the smaller amount required to achieve the desired softness doesn't detract as greatly from the gluten's structural function as if say 10 or 15 potato flour where being used to achieve the same effect.

    Another reason for potato starch is taste, potato flour will definitely impart a potato taste.

    My mother-in-law made the finest softest white sandwich bread and rolls using the water saved after boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes.
    Potato starch was the component in the water that softened the bread, however, utilizing left over potato water is a hit and miss proposition as one without accumulated experience would not know the amount of starch in a particular batch of left over potato water.
    Purchased potato starch gives the baker control over exactly the amount the baker desires in the recipe.

    My memory of the mother-in-laws soft bread led me to potato starch in a quest to duplicate the much renowned Amoroso rolls used in the Philadelphia for cheesesteaks.
    I am pleased with the roll I've developed, soft with a slight chew yet with the structural integrity not to fall apart.

  17. Gotta get me one of those pans; i have been wanting to make this for a long time. Looks so perfect.

  18. @Rita...thanks! I finally bought myself a lid, so now my loaves are perfectly rectangular. I don't know why, but I just love that shape. ;)