Well, the Pain de Mie is now thoroughly cooled and ready to be sliced and compared to store-bought sliced white sandwich bread (which we’ll just call a “SB” for short).

First, here’s my Pain de Mie (aka, “my loaf”) compared against what the Pain de Mie is supposed to look liked, from King Arthur Flour’s blog (aka, “KAF loaf”) … here’s the whole loaf before they are sliced (my loaf is on the left while the right one is the KAF loaf) …

My underachieving loaf did not rise enough to fill the pan fully, resulting in the shorter, dome-topped loaf instead of a nice, squared loaf.

Here’re the sliced loaves (my loaf is on the left) …

Slicing my loaf was very easy … the crust was slightly crispy, probably due to the Pam-sprayed canola oil I’d used to grease the pan, with little bits of crust falling off as I sliced the loaf. And this is what the crumb for a slice looks like up close (again, my loaf is on the left) …

The crust appears to be a bit thicker and obviously, the crumb for my loaf looks a bit denser as it did not fill up the pan on baking.

I have scrutinized all the comments about the making the Pain de Mie on King Arthur Flour’s blog and have found 2 possible leads for why my loaf did not rise enough to completely fill the Pullman lidded loaf pan while it was baking:

  1. I may have used too much flour
    I’d used 5 oz (140g) per cup of flour as per Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, resulting in 665g for the 4 3/4 cups of flour called for this recipe. Instead, I should have followed the weight conversions provided by King Arthur Flour, which is 4 1/4 oz (120g) per cup of flour. Thus, I should reduce the amount of flour for this recipe to 570g.
  2. I may have let the dough rise too much
    May be an over-proofing problem that resulted in the dough collapsing while it was baking. A suggestion was to “put it in the oven before it’s risen as much as you think it should“.

Other than getting a shorter and slightly denser loaf, how does my loaf compare to SB? Side-by-side with a SB slice (which is on the right), a slice from my loaf looks to have a similar crumb, although my loaf doesn’t feel as soft or moist as the SB one …

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Both butter just as well …

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As my loaf is denser, it’ll take longer to toast than the SB one … here’re they are after being toasted until the SB one was lightly browned …

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And here they are again, this time after toasting the slice from my loaf a little longer (about 50% longer) …

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… which still butters just as well as the toasted SB one …

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My loaf is still slightly more dense (probably because it did not rise fully while it was baking) and not as moist & soft when compared to SB. But I must say that my loaf tastes real nice … just the right amount of sweetness and saltiness, very similar to SB.

So, this is the ingredients formula to go with to get the right taste. Now, all we’ll need to do is to figure out how to make the Pain de Mie less dense but softer & more moist. To that end, a comment by livo on King Arthur Flour’s blog gives a suggestion for the dough conditioners to use, which I’ll adapt for Trial #3 in baking the Softest White Sandwich Bread possible.

Cheers!
Aldrin

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