Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Sandwich Bread

You know that new bread pan I was bragging about not too long ago... well, I still LOVE it. However, my bread recipe (although very yummy) just wasn't working out for sandwich bread. It's too grainy and doesn't hold up well with thin cutting and lunch transportation. So I had to go on a search for a new bread recipe for our sandwiches. That's when I found this recipe from Sure, you think, a flour company should have great recipes for bread.... and they do.

Dainty Tea-Sandwich Bread

The best bread for thin-slicing is called pain de mie, a butter- and milk-rich loaf baked in a special lidded 13" x 4" x 4" pan. The lid ensures that the baking bread won't expand too much, keeping it very close-grained-and thus totally non-crumbly, and easy to slice. Pain de Mie Pan with Lid

3/4 cup milk
1 cup lukewarm water
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup potato flour or heaping 3/4 cup potato flakes
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour*
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

*Use all-purpose flour exclusively, if you like; but believe me, your family will never notice the substitution of a cup of organic white whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose.

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 standard (13 x 4 x 4-inch) lidded pain de mie pan. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, shape it into a log, and fit it into the pan. Flatten the top as much as possible. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it's about 1/2-inch below the lip of the pan, about 45 minutes.

Carefully slip the cover onto the pan, and let it rest an additional 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the lid, and return the bread to the oven to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until it's golden-brown on top and tests done; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For a soft, flavorful crust, brush the loaf with melted butter while warm. Yield: 1 loaf.

I also found THIS blog post visually helpful for using the Pullman (pain de mie) pan for this bread.
I made this bread last night since we are running low on last weeks loaf. I'm not sure what went wrong with this one. I'm sure there are many factors.
Problem 1: I didn't start making it until after 7:00 pm. Using the actual raising times and baking and settling blah blah blah it would have taken me until after 10:00 pm to be done. I can't stay up that late.
Problem 2: I didn't have any Potato Flour, or Potato Flakes. I apparently missed that line in the recipe when I read it through 1,000 times before my last trip to the store. I did however have some potato pearls that I popped into the food processor to break down their pearly-ness. I think they worked okay. (But, as is the case with food processors, while grinding/chopping/pulverizing stuff, the spinning of the blades heats up the item being processing and can change the flavor of the given item. Just so you know.) I'll get one of the other items at the store next time.

NOTE: I don't own any King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. I just have regular Whole Wheat Flour and I only used 1/2 a cup in this recipe. I've been cutting down the amount of Wheat Flour I have been adding to my breads, I'm not 100% pleased with the wheaty-grainy-ness of it. I may have to look into different wheat flours when I run out of this bag... maybe King Arthur is the way to go. also, I have considered adding Flax Seed to the bread for protein, but I'm not that much of a health nut yet.

Problem 3: My house was COLD last night. I also apparently didn't have warm enough water... the Yeast didn't activate and the dough didn't rise after an hour and a half. Then, by the time I finally put it into the pan it was a quarter after nine and I didn't want to wait another 45 minutes for it to rise again once in the bread pan. Ugh! So I didn't. Next time, I'll make sure the water is 100 - 115 degrees F which is the ideal liquid temperature for yeast. I'll probably warm the milk too.
Outcome: The bread only rose to fill a little over half the pan. I ended up with a 13x4x3 in loaf. But it is mighty tasty. The bread, without it's proper rising times, came out really thick and heavy. I cut off a few thick pieces for breakfast this morning and loved it. It would have been especially yummy if I had had some butter, or honey, or jam to go with it, but as it was we were running late so all I got was plain bread. I think I'll have some more with dinner tonight. But as for being "sandwich bread" useful... not so much. I'll have to make another loaf before we can have sandwiches again.
I guess I'll have to convince John to take me to the store on the way home from work tonight so I can try again tomorrow while he's working late.
FYI - I bought my Pullman pan (with the lid) for $25 on Amazon. Or, it looks like you can buy the same pan form the King Arthur Flour site for $39.95... whatever, you choose.

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