HONEY-OAT PAIN DE MIE

Simple pleasures make me happy: a new cookbook to read in bed before falling asleep, a new pair of earrings (another obsession of mine), a new cooking gadget, like this gorgeous item I succumbed to last week.  It’s a beautiful pan to make sandwich bread, that kind that looks like store-bought, but tastes  two orders of magnitude better.  I bought it with one specific recipe in mind, and in record-breaking speed, the dough was mixed 24 hours after the package from King Arthur arrived.

HONEY-OAT PAIN DE MIE
(from King Arthur)

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour
2 + 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup + 2 Tbs lukewarm water

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, and mix until it comes together in a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then knead for 8 to 10 minutes on second speed (you can also knead by hand until smooth, it will take longer).

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or in an 8-cup measure (so you can track its progress as it rises), and let it rise for 90 minutes. It should be noticeably risen, but not necessarily double in bulk. Mine definitely doubled after 90 minutes, take a look by clicking here.

Gently shape the dough into a 9″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9″ pain de mie (pullman) pan, pressing it gently to flatten. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s about 1 inch from the top of the lid. This should take 60 to 90 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap, close the lid, and bake the bread in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the lid (wear mittens), and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the surface.  If you want, you can remove the bread from the pan and bake it for another 5 minutes to get a crispier crust.   Internal temperature should be at least 190 F.

Remove the bread from the oven, allow it to completely cool before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Two important pointers for success:

1. Use a recipe that was written for your pan’s dimensions, so that the dough will rise to its full capacity during baking.  For instance, this recipe is for a 9 inch long Pullman pan. They all have similar widths, by the way.

2. When placing the shaped loaf inside the pan, allow it to rise until it is 1 inch from the top, as the recipe states.  I was a bit impatient (big surprise! ;-))  and also worried about the dough overflowing, so I cut the final rise a bit short.  By doing so, my bread was not fully squared, as the top edges never touched the lid.   It didn’t compromise the taste or texture of the crumb, but the shape was slightly off.

This bread is absolutely delicious, the oats don’t make it hard or crunchy, it is a perfect bread for simple sandwiches, and also great to slice and bake as home-made Melba type toasts.

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting event…

ONE YEAR AGO: Carrot and Leek Soup

TWO YEARS AGO: Chicken Parmiggiana 101

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

PAIN DE MIE AU LEVAIN

Just for a change, here’s a bread that’s not part of the BBA Challenge…  😉

Who doesn’t love a good bread? But, while some people prefer a hearty crust, uneven holes and an assertive taste, others like a tight, smooth crumb enveloped in a soft crust.  This  “pain de mie” joins the best of both worlds: it’s leavened with sourdough starter, but it’s moderate hydration produces a surprisingly closed crumb, especially if you bake it contained in a loaf pan. It’s a perfect sandwich bread, with more “pizzazz” than anything you’ll find at the grocery store.

I discovered this recipe in a wonderful French blog called Makanai: Bio, Bon, Simple. When a French woman (who has superb boulangeries on every corner) bakes bread at home, then I pay attention: she must be an outstanding baker! You can read Flo’s detailed description here.

PAIN DE MIE AU LEVAIN
(adapted from Makanai’s blog)

210 g  sourdough starter (mine was at 80% hydration)
420 g water
500 g bread flour
130 g rye flour
11.5 g fine sea salt (13 g if using unsalted seeds)
30-35 g seeds of your choice
(I used flax seeds and roasted, salted sunflower seeds)

Mix the flours, water, and sourdough starter until they form a shaggy mass.  Let it stand at room temperature, covered, for 30-45 minutes (autolyse).  Add the salt and mix it with either using a Kitchen Aid-type mixer for a few minutes, or by hand.  Add the seeds and knead with the machine for about 7 minutes at low speed.  Alternatively, mix gently by hand to incorporate the seeds and knead the dough by folding 4 times during the first hour, at 15 minute intervals.  Let the dough rise undisturbed for another full hour, in a warm place, covered.

Refrigerate the dough for 12 to 24 hours (very important step!), misting the surface lightly with olive oil, and covering with a plastic wrap.

The next morning remove the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic and cover it with a towel, to rest at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping.  Meanwhile, prepare a loaf pan by lightly coating it with olive oil and sprinkling flour, especially in the corners. You can make a single large loaf or divide it half depending on the size of your pan.  Mine was a 9×5 loaf pan, so I divided the dough in uneven pieces, placed the larger one in the loaf pan, and shaped the smaller one as a “batard“.   Ideally, the dough should fill 2/3 of the height of your pan.

Allow the shaped bread to rise 2 hours at room temperature, slash it with a blade, sprinkle some flour on top and bake it in a 435F oven for about 45 minutes, with an initial burst of steam.  Check the internal temperature: the bread will be done when it reaches at least 200F.

If you are patient enough, let the bread cool for a couple of hours before slicing it. Good luck with that… 😉

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was a fun bread recipe. If you’re a novice baker, then incorporating the seeds and folding by hand might be a little intimidating, so use a mixer instead. If you are experienced with minimal kneading and folding, then by all means use the technique here.

For the sandwich bread, I slashed the dough slightly off-center, as Flo did in her blog.

The same dough, baked in the loaf or free form, produced breads with different characteristics. The “batard” browned more, and the crumb was more open, reminiscent of a levain bread with a heartier crust.

My favorite method to create steam is to fill a large roasting pan (like this one) with hot water, and empty it before inverting it on top of the bread.  These affordable roasting pans, sold for cooking outdoors, effectively mimic a “steam oven.” Bake the bread covered in this way for the first 30 minutes, then remove the cover to promote full browning of the crust.  I used this method for both the breads in this post.

The textures and flavors of this bread were outstanding! Its slices stood out in ham and cheese sandwiches, and were hearty with a thin spread of fig jam. I normally don’t even care for bread with jam, but my husband twisted my arm and I’m glad that he did!

I am submitting this post to this week’s Yeastspotting, to join Susan’s fun on Friday….