This recipe is an easy, wholesome alternative that rivals packaged
sandwich bread at the supermarket.
Pain de mie is a simple, slightly sweet French bread often used for sandwiches and toast. The bread is baked in a long rectangular loaf pan, known as a Pullman or pain de mie pan, which is great for making square slices of bread with a thin edge of crust. Aptly named a “bread of the crumb” or bread without the crust, the final loaf consists mostly of light, fluffy bread interior. If it isn’t already, pain de mie can be a great bread staple in your kitchen as a crowd pleaser for kids and a versatile white bread that can be used in everything from lunches to bread puddings and French toast.
This recipe is an easy, wholesome alternative that rivals packaged sandwich bread at the supermarket. Simpler than most French breads, the pain de mie is made with minimal effort by throwing all ingredients together, kneading, and giving the bread multiple chances to rise and achieve its light and airy texture. When made in a Pullman pan, the loaf is forced into a distinct rectangle shape by a removable, sliding lid. However, the bread is just as tasty if you make it in a regular loaf pan, though it will rise above the top of the pan and lose its square shape (see photos). The pain de mie and Pullman loaves are most commonly made with white flour, though you could also easily substitute other flours to achieve a more complicated sandwich loaf.
Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: 15 min Rise time: 1 ½ hours Bake time: 40 min
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup milk
4 cups flour, plus more for work surface
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Using a standing mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon, mix everything together until a cohesive ball of dough forms.
- Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then, turn the dough out on a clean, floured working surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed.
- Return the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rest, covered, in a warm area for about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles. Shape your dough into a loaf, stretching it out to 13 inches if you are using a Pullman loaf pan, or 9 inches if you are using a regular loaf pan.
- Grease your pan and allow the dough to rise in the pan for an additional half hour.
- Bake the loaf in a preheated oven at 350°F/175°C for 40* minutes, or until the crust turns a light golden brown. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before finishing the cooling process on a cooling rack.
*When using a shorter-length loaf pan, you may need an additional 5-10 minutes of baking time to achieve a golden crust on the uncovered top.