Pullman bread or “pain de mie” is a french sandwich bread which is rectangular in shape.It is made in a special pan with a sliding lid at the top that keeps the bread in a desired shape as it bakes.
We can use this same recipe to make domed sandwich loaf with rounded edges using a regular loaf pan as well.
This pullman loaf bread recipe is so simple and easy that we can make soft ,fluffy,light sandwich loaf using only SIX BASIC INGREDIENTS.
What I love about pullman bread ?
Pullman loaf bread is one of my favorite breads.My kids love that rectangular shape which can be conveniently used for making sandwiches.
This pullman bread have
- nearly crustless flat top
- delicate texture
- fine crumb
- good flavor
Why is it called Pullman bread?
The bread is usually made with white flour and baked in a long rectangular enclosed pan.The name “Pullman” was derived from its use in the compact kitchens of the Pullman railway cars.
- Flour : 500g or 4 cups (loosely packed)
- Water : 315 ml or 1 1/4 cup (240+60) +1 tbsp
- Yeast : 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Sugar : 3 tbsp
- Salt : 1 and 3/4 tsp
- Butter : 56 g or 1/4 cup or half stick
How to make a pullman loaf bread or pain de mie
We can make this pullman bread in a simple FIVE STEP METHOD.
PREPARE THE DOUGH
Into a bowl, we are adding all our ingredients and mix everything together to form a shaggy mass of dough.
Add the water,yeast,sugar,salt,butter and flour.
The water should not be hot nor cold ,just slightly warm(ideal temperature should be 110F)
If the butter is softened room temperature butter, then it will be very easy to combine everything together.
I added the flour in three parts and I found it easy to blend everything.
Transfer this dough on to clean work surface and start kneading the dough.
The dough will be very sticky in the beginning but everything will come together in about 6-8 minutes of kneading.
Continue kneading until you get a smooth, elastic dough which is nt sticking to the hands but still tacky to the touch.
The more softer and hydrated the dough, the more softer our bread will be.
Lightly oil a clean bowl and transfer the dough into the bowl.
Cover it with a plastic film and keep it in a warm environment.
It will be so much easier to prepare the dough if you are using a stand mixer.
PROOF THE DOUGH
Let the dough sit and rise until it has doubled in size.It may take around 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.
When the dough rises, transfer it on to a lightly floured work surface and then degas the dough.
And shape it into a rectangle.
SHAPE THE DOUGH
Roll the dough as we roll a jelly roll.
While rolling keep in mind that the breadth of our dough should match the length of the pants that it can fit inside the pan when we roll it.
So,roll the dough,pinch the seams together and place it inside the pan which is already greased with butter.
The size of the pullman loaf pan is :21.1X12.2X11.9 cm(8 1/4 X 4 3/4 X 4 3/4)
Cover the pan with a plastic film and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes until almost 1 inch from the top rim of the loaf pan.
Once you see your dough is almost halfway up the sides – preheat the oven to 375 F .
BAKE THE BREAD
Cover the loaf pan with its lid.
Place it on the middle rack in the preheated oven.
Bake @375 F for about 35-40 minutes.
How to check the doneness of pullman bread
Different Ovens may perform slightly differently.And the baking duration vary according to the size of pullman pan.But anyhow,we will get to the right conclusion of baking temperature about your oven in a few trials.
1. Visually :The Bread should be golden brown on all sides and not only on the top.If you see the sides are not golden brown in color ,most likely the inside will not be cooked enough.So bake for another five more minutes and check again.
2. Tap the Bottom – Take the loaf out of the oven and remove from the pullman loaf tin,and turn it upside down. Tap the bottom of bread with your thumb, like striking a drum. The bread will sound hollow when it’s done.
3. Take the Internal Temperature – Insert an instant read thermometer into center of the loaf. This pullman bread is done, when the internal temperature is closer to 200°.
If you’re ever in doubt, it’s better to cook the loaf a little longer than to undercook it. An extra five minutes isn’t going to burn the crust, and the worst that will happen is that your bread will be a bit on the dry side. But better dry than un-baked!
Also, if you’re consistently having trouble with over- or under-baked loaves, check the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer.
Baking temperature is so important in baking pullman bread.
If we bake at high temperature, the crust will form early and at some time,the inside of the bread will not get enough time to get baked properly resulting in a bread which is doughy in the middle.
If we bake at low temperature, we need to bake for a longer time, which will result in a bread with thick crust.
Take the pan out of the oven, remove the lid and let the bread sit in the pan for 2-3 minutes.
If you want your crust to be more soft,smear the top with some butter.
Demould the bread and place it on a wire rack and let it cool down completely before slicing it.
The bread will be golden brown in color,with a thin soft crust and soft and fluffy crumb inside.
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make a pullman bread
How to store a pullman bread ?
The bread can be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place for up to 2-3 days.Wrap it with plastic film or keep it in paper bag.
Heat and humidity causes bread to mold. So if you want to store it for longer, wrap it well and keep it in refrigerator.The bread will stay good for up to seven days in refrigerator.But the chance of bread getting dry is more if we keep it in refrigerator.
Can I freeze this pullman bread ?
Yes you can freeze this bread.Simply wrap the bread in plastic or aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn and keep frozen for up to one month.
Take it out whenever you need and just put it in a toaster or in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, and you’ll get fresh bread ready to eat.
How can I make this bread ahead of time ?
You can store the bread dough in refrigerator after the second step.
After the first proofing, you can keep the well covered, risen dough in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Whenever you want to bake bread, take the dough out the fridge, leave it on the counter to bring it to room temperature (it may take around 20 minutes).
Then continue with the step 3 ,4,and 5.
Shape the dough into a log and place it in the pullman loaf tin and wait for the dough to rise (this may take a little longer than expected as the dough is not very warm).
Then cover the pan with lid, when the dough is almost near the rim of the pan and place the loaf tin into the preheated oven.
Bake @ 375 F for 35-40 minutes.
Why is my bread dense and heavy?
- Your rise is too short or too long. If the rising time is too short, the yeast won’t have a chance to create bubbles and Carbon dioxide to make the bubbles expand. If too long, the dough will collapse onto itself.
- The temperature during rise is too hot or too cold. The ideal temperature for yeast growth is just overy about 100F, though room temperature is fine as long as you give the yeast more time to work.
- Probably the yeast is not active. Try different yeast.
- Your dough can’t hold its shape because the flour lacks gluten.This usually happens when we make bread using whole grains like whole wheat flour.In such cases,you can try adding little bread flour or add vital wheat gluten to your dough.
Why my bread collapse ?
Overproofing the bread dough can cause structural weakness, resulting in collapse.
When the second rise (or the rising of dough after it is been shaped) is longer than the recipe suggests, the gluten strands will expand much higher; and when baked in oven, the starch gelatinize and the proteins coagulate and thus the gluten strands curl up, tightening their links with each other, and solidifying the bread’s structure and it will loose its strength and will not be able to hold its structure or shape and it will collapse.
Why is my bread not cooked in the middle?
When the baking temperature is higher than the recipe suggests, the outer crust will get baked quickly and it may turn brown in a few minutes.But at the same time, the inside of the bread will remain uncooked.
- Oven too hot at beginning; If the crust browns too early, the loaf can’t expand to its maximum volume. This interferes with the inner texture of the bread.
- If it’s taken from the oven too soon; just because the outside looks done, and the baking is actually incomplete, the inner crumb will be gummy and lacking in flavor.
Solution:You should decrease the baking temperature and take more time to bake bread and you’ll get perfectly cooked and colored bread 🙂
Does cooling the fresh baked bread, cook the middle?
Well, in a sense, yes. To the outside of the crust, it’s just simple “getting cooler”. But to the crumb on the inside of the crust, it’s a more complex process that’s in a way a continuation of what happened in the oven.
What is “Carryover baking”
After the bread is removed from the oven, the temperatures will equalize, with the interior continuing to warm as the exterior begins to cool.
Why my bread didn’t rise ?
If the Bread did not rise, the probable reasons are connected with yeast and its activity.
- So Its better to Proof the yeast before using.
- Check the proper water temperature before dissolving the yeast. (Ideal Temperature:110F)
- Some experts says ,Salt added directly to the yeast inhibits or kills it.
- Dough too stiff because too much flour during mixing or kneading; dough should be tacky after mixing, smooth after kneading
How to reheat the pullman bread ?
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C). This is the best temperature for reheating bread. Any hotter and the bread could burn quickly. A lower temperature would require a longer cooking time, resulting in dry bread. If you want a soft interior with a chewy crust, 350℉ (175℃) is the way to go.
- Spray some water on the bread or cover the bread with an aluminum foil (so that the bread will not get dry when baked)
- Place you bread inside the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes.You will get bread as it is freshly baked.Larger bread loaf may require 5 more minutes of baking.
- If you want to make your bread moist, warm and chewy, then you can steam the bread.
- Toast your bread in a toaster.
Why my bread is having strong yeast smell?
- Over-risen bread dough. Stop the rising when the dough has almost doubled in size (use finger-top test).
- Incomplete baking. If the bread is not baked properly in the middle ,the bread will smell “yeasty”
- Not kneading enough.
- Too much yeast.
Why the crust of my bread is too thick ?
- Kneading problems. When finished kneading, dough should be ‘tacky’, not dry.
- Oven temperature too low.Which leads to longer baking time which can result in thick crust.
- Bread overbaked.
Can i bake this bread in a regular loaf pan ?
Yes,you can use this same recipe to bake delicious sandwich bread which is dome shaped using a regular loaf pan.
What is pain de mie
Pain de mie is a soft white or brown sliced sandwich bread. In French,‘Pain’ means bread and ‘(de) la mie’ refers to the soft part of the bread. In English, pain de mie is similar to a Pullman loaf or regular sandwich bread.
5 Tips for making the best pullman bread every time you bake.
- Measure your ingredients using a weighing scale because every cup of flour can weigh differently depending on how you fill it.
- Yeast is one of the most important ingredient in bread making.So always check the expiry of the yeast. If unsure, combine the yeast with water/milk and sugar/honey,from the recipe and let stand 5 minutes. If it gets foamy the yeast is good to go if not,its best to buy fresh yeast.
- The temperature of liquid ingredient in the recipe can kill(if hot) or make the yeast inactive(if cold).So it is crucial in making bread.Ideal temperature should be around 110 F (must be warm but not hot) .In my opinion, if not sure about the temperature, keep in mind that higher temperature will kill yeast which cannot be reversed but low temperature will make the yeast dormant for a few time but it will get activated even if it takes some time.
- While kneading the dough, you may find the dough to be too sticky to handle in the beginning.At this time, we may get tempted to add more flour in to this but don’t do that.A soft loose well-hydrated dough is not necessarily a bad thing, it often will give you soft fuffy bread.
- Baking temperature should be not too hot,as it will cause the crust to form too fast and the inside to be uncooked.Baking temperature should not be too low,because ignorer to bake our bread properly, we may need to bake for a very long time and it will create a very thick crust which is unpleasant and make the bread more dry.
Best pullman loaf pan to buy
1.USA Pan Bakeware Pullman Loaf Pan With Cover
This is a beautiful loaf pan from USA Pan. It is medium sized with a heavy duty aluminized steel construction making it sturdy. The beautiful corrugated design not only makes the loaf pan unique looking but also makes what you bake more beautiful with a firm texture. The pan comes with a lid making it possible for you to keep the heat inside while baking.
What is unique about this pan is that the pan is coated with Americoat. Americoat is a special coating that makes it easier for you to separate your baked food from the pan. Because of the coating, it is also easy to clean the pan. The coat is PTFE, PFOA and BPA free which is good because they can be harmful to your body, especially a child’s body
- The heavy-duty aluminized steel gives it a thin but sturdy look. It’s also durable and can handle high heat.
- The design on the inside of the pan makes it possible for your baked good to not only look beautiful but it also helps you bake fast because the heat spreads more quickly.
- Having a lid with a loaf pan is not mandatory but can act as a useful feature. You can use the lid to bake your goods faster as the heat gets trapped inside.
- The loaf pan from USA Pan comes with Americoat. It’s a special coating that your baking easier. The coat is also PTFE, PFOA and BPA free hence there are not toxic chemicals involved and it won’t harm your food
2.Lakeland Speciality Bakeware Pullman 1lb Loaf Tin with Slide-On Lid
- Lidded loaf tin for squared-off results
- Excellent heat conduction
- Superb non-stick
- Good for fruit loaves and meat loaf
- Part of Speciality Bakeware range
Super non-stick technology
This tin is coated with 3 layers of a super non-stick that ensures effortless release, no matter what you’re baking, and also makes it really easy to clean.
Heavy gauge and durable
Made from heavy gauge carbon steel that offers excellent heat conduction and long-lasting durability, this bread tin is heat-resistant up to 235°C and will give you years of reliable service.
Pullman Bread :Printable Recipe
Pullman bread or pain de mie
- 500 g Flour 4 cups
- 315 ml Water 1 1/4 cup+1 tbsp
- 1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast Active dry yeast 1 3/4 tsp
- 1 3/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 56 g Butter 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick
Prepare the dough
- Into a bowl,add in all the ingredients and combine everything together to for a shaggy mass of dough.Add lukewarm water,sugar,salt,yeast,butter,and flour.Combine evrything together and transfer this onto a clean work surafce.Knead the dough until you get a smooth and elastic dough.Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Proof the dough
- Leavethe dough to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in volume.
Shape the dough
- When the dough is double in volume transfer this on to a lightly floured surface.Shape it into a rectangle and roll it like a jelly roll.Pinch the seams together.Place into a buttered Pullman loaf pan seam side down.
- Cover loaf pan with plastic wrap.Let rise in a warm place for about 45 -50 minutes until almost 1 inch from the top rim of the loaf pan.Once you see your dough is almost halfway up the sides – start preheating the oven.
Bake the bread
- Cover the loaf pan with its lid.Place the loaf pan on the middle rack in the preheated oven.Bake @375 F for about 35 -40 minutes.The bread is done – when you tap the bottom of your loaf and you will hear a hollow sound.Open the lid and let it sit in the pan itself for 2-3 minutes and then let it finish cooling on a wire rack.Enjoy!Happy baking!