Here’s the recipe by the good people at King Arthur Flour, for making a traditional Pain de Mie using a 13″ long Pullman lidded loaf pan. This recipe is reproduced and adapted from their Bakers’ Banter blog, while this other post on their blog has great photos of the Pain de Mie being made and what it looks like after baking.

Pain de Mie (Pullman Regular Sandwich Bread)
(adapted from Pain de Mie (Pullman Loaf or Regular Sandwich Bread) by King Arthur Flour)

Prep & Rise: About 1 1/2 to 3 hours
Oven: 350°F (180°C)
Bake: 45 minutes
Makes: 1 large loaf

Ingredients
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) milk
1 cup (8 ounces) water
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter (86g)
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1 1/8 ounces) Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk (4 Tablespoons) (I’m using full cream milk powder instead)
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) potato flour
4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Flour Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I’m using 665g of my bread flour instead)
2 teaspoons instant yeast

This recipe has separate instructions for the Manual Method, using a Mixer and using a Bread Machine for the initial steps (steps 1 to 3), while My Method used both a mixer as well as kneading by hand.

Manual Method
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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. Jump to step 4 below

Mixer Method
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Jump to step 4 below.

Bread Machine Method
1. Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start.

2. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough and proceed as follows.

3. Jump to step 4 below.

My Method
1. Put the butter (still chilled & hard) in the mixer bowl and add 1 cup of hot water and stir to melt the butter, breaking up the butter into smaller pieces to hasten its melting. Then chilled fresh milk was added, which should result in the mixture cooling to lukewarm temperatures (about 110°F or 43°C). Add the salt, sugar and milk powder and stir well to dissolve them in the mixture. Using the beater, mix in the yeast and potato flour. Then, gradually add and beat in up to about half the bread flour. Change to the dough hook, add in the remaining flour and let the mixer combine the ingredients together until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl.

2. Turn out the dough from the dough hook and mixing bowl onto a surface suitable for kneading, and with oiled hands, knead the dough for 5-8 minutes (I did it for 8 minutes). Here’s how the dough looked like while it was being kneaded …

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3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl (I’d sprayed the inside with Pam), cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours (I’d let mine rise for 1 1/4 hours).

At the beginning of the rising …

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And it doubled in size after 1 1/4 hours of rising …

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4. Lightly grease a 13 x 4-inch pain de mie pan.

5. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, gently shape it into a 13-inch log, and place it in the pan, pressing down to make it as flat as possible.

Using the envelope folding method to shape the dough into the 13-inch log …

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And into the pan the dough goes, pinched seams side down …

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6. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it is within 1/2” or so of the lip of the pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen (it may rise even more slowly in a cool kitchen; don’t worry, this long rise will give it great flavor) (my dough took about 55 minutes to reach close to the rim of the pan).

After 55 minutes of rising in the pan …

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7. 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 (180°C).

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8. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the lid; it’ll be a light golden brown.

Sadly, my loaf did not rise up it’s full potential … should have had enough oven spring to flatten the top of the loaf against the lid … 😦

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Return the bread to the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until it tests done: an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F.

9. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn the pan on its side, shaking slightly to loosen the bread. Then over a cooling rack, turn it over and lift off the pan. Gently turn the bread right side up, so its top is facing up, and let it cool completely on the rack before slicing it.

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Sigh, not the perfect result I was expecting (check out King Arthur Flour’s blog to see what the loaf was supposed to look like). Anyway, it’s all right, as I’d made this Pain de Mie to be a control for the softness, texture and taste for the Softest White Sandwich Bread I’m trying to make, so this loaf should still be able to function as such.

The Pain de Mie is cooling right now, so it be some time before we get the results of this control.

In the meantime, do you have ideas why my Pain de Mie did not fully fill up the Pullman lidded loaf pan?