One Pound Pullman Shorty
A one pound loaf is just right for me. I can comfortably go through two loaves a week, without getting too overweight...
I use an Alum-7½ (7.500” x 3.750” x 2.250”) bread pan, which converts 478g of my test doughs into loaves of about 1 pound. Those pan-breads allow me to make reasonable comparisons later based on photographs and my data logs. This has worked well for my purposes, but what happens when the loaf pan itself is what I want to compare?
That was my problem when txfarmer's posting got me interested in her Sourdough Pan de Mie – Link:
Then there where all those other formulae that best fit the Pullman pan form factor, Even the shorter 9” pan requires a much larger dough than the 478g that most of my testing has been based upon.
A possible solution occurred to me when reading txfarmer's Kasutera (Castella) cake posting – Link:
In that posting, she mentions what to do if you wanted to make a wooden pan for the cake. She includes how to treat the wood before you baked using it.
I measured the cross-section of my most recent loaf that had been made in my A7½ pan. With that, I could calculate the volume. It came to about 90 cubic inches, or 1475 cubic cm. Armed with that information, it was easy enough to determine that the Pullman's approximate 4” x 4” cross-section would need to be 5.625” long for an equal 1475 cc of volume.
I made a paper pattern of the Pullman's cross-section and transferred it to a piece of picture matting material and used that to make my cutting lines on 2, 1-1/2” pieces of yellow pine and 1, 3/8” piece of solid teak. And then cut the pieces out and sanded them for a better corner fit. I let the thin teak piece remain slightly higher than the other 2 pieces. I wanted the lid to press against it so as to hold the wooden spacer firmly at the unused end of the Pullman during the final rise and baking.
Following txfarmer's posted instructions, I soaked the new blocks under water overnight, towel-dried them the next day, and then baked them at 350ºF ( 177º C) and went longer than the 30 minutes, giving them a full 45 minutes and then let them cool in the oven on the still warm oven stones. There was a strong pine smell during the baking and for some time after that.
My test bake was of 478g of dough in a preheated oven on oven stones without steam for 45 minutes at a temperature of 350ºF ( 177º C) and removed the loaf from the Pullman as soon as it was taken from the oven.
There was no smell of wood during the baking and nothing unusual in the taste of the finished loaf. Everything worked as well as I could ever have hoped for.
The resulting loaf can be seen with the light colored end piece being where it was pressing the parchment paper I had wrapped around the thin teak block. The 3 wooden blocks are shown as they were positioned during the baking – only the parchment paper was removed with the loaf.
I labeled the items in this photo, which has the parchment paper still wrapped around the teak block. Notice the wrinkles in the parchment paper were transferred into the end crust of the 1 pound loaf. The actual ending weight of the original 478g dough was 440g while still hot.
I am well pleased with the method of reducing a Pullman's baked loaf to suit the user's desires.