The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pullman Loaf

davidg618's picture

Pullman Loaf

We enjoy sandwich breads--soft crust, close crumb--a buttermilk white straight dough, the dough for three loaves made in our bread machine and oven baked,  or a whole wheat variation has been our mainstay for six or seven years. My favorite is the whole wheat version. Recently, I've made a sourdough variation a couple of times, with enjoyable results. It was natural I'd turn to this favorite for my first go at making pain de mie--Pullman bread. This is a poolish started version. The final dough contains 25% whole wheat, and is firm (60% hydration). As expected, the crumb is close and soft, and the crust slight. The bread has a sweeter flavor than the straight dough version. I suspect this come from the poolish which makes up 25% of the final dough weight.

I think I overfilled the bread-pan slightly. There is a slight compression of the crumb just inside the crust (although that could also be due the way I fit the dough log into the pan). Jeffery Hamelman, in Bread, recommends 2.25 lbs. of dough for a 13"x4"x4" Pullman bread pan. My dough weighed four ounces more. Next time I'll follow his guidance to the fraction of an ounce.

the crumb.

On the last day of class at King Arthur we baked Fougasse and pizza in the center's magnificent Le Panyol wood-fired oven. Here's a picture of our classes' youngest member, Michael who attended with his mother, loading his pizza into the oven, and another of my Fougasse. At 650°F it only takes a few minutes to bake, and because the fire was still burning in the rear of the oven we had to keep turning our breads frequently. It was fun, but it also made me appreciate my home's modern convection oven.

This bread was delicious when eaten immediately warm, but the next day it was rock hard, good for croutons or bread crumbs, but not much more.


SylviaH's picture

Great looking bread and a nice photo  of a young baker man!  Thanks for sharing!



wally's picture


That's a beautiful looking fougasse!  I've been experimenting with them - using Hamelman's recipe in "Bread," and they are easily a replacement for pizza as a snack food.


althetrainer's picture

Reminds me of my childhood when we used to eat pullman sandwich breads all the time.  The Fougasse looks mouth watering! 

Yippee's picture


Jeffery Hamelman, in Bread, recommends 2.25 lbs. of dough for a 13"x4"x4" Pullman bread pan.

Could you please clarify whether Mr. Hamelman's weight recommendation is for straight dough or sourdough bread, since I'm not sure whether your loaf shown was made with poolish or levain?  I've started making sourdough Pullman loaves recently and any reference for dough sizes would be helpful.  Thanks.


davidg618's picture
davidg618 an all white-flour straight dough bread at 60% Hydration, and not what I made. However, I did think his guidance, "For Pullman pans that measure  a 13" x 3-3/4" x 3-3/4" inches the dough weight is 2.25 lbs." would equally apply to any other dough with similar hydration, and yeast content. There will always be some variation, loaf-to-loaf, but I think the doughs with like hydratrion, gluten development, and amount of active yeast regardless of how they are assembled--straight dough, polish, or sourdough--will behave similarly. Until I'm proven wrong, I'm going to use 2.25 lbs. of dough as a rule-of-thumb for future loaves, with the exception of high rye flour content formula. In the case of high rye flour content loaves I'll increase the weight expecting much lower expansion during final proofing and oven spring. For example, I'm going to try Hamelman's Vollkornbrot in the next few weeks. That calls for 4.5 lbs of dough for 1 Pullman pan.

What I made is was a 25% whole wheat loaf, at 60% hydration, with a 100% hydration polish made with 25% of the final flour weight, beginning 14 hours before I made the final dough. I made 2.5 lbs of dough, and used it all. If you look closely at the crumb photograph, the crumb is compressed about 1/8 to 1/4 inch just inside the crust. I think this compression might not have occured, or occured less, if I'd used exactly 2.25 lbs of dough.

Yippee's picture

David, for your detailed clarification.  What would you suggest for a sourdough Pullman loaf made with 100% whole wheat flour, say, in the same size pan? Would you stick with 2.25 lb as well?


davidg618's picture

I can only reply with a guess, and it's not an informed guess. A 100% whole wheat loaf is not in my repotoire.

Have you made this dough before? If yes, you should know its proofing and oven spring behavior. If it doubles in volume, without overproofing, I think 2.25 lbs will be adequate. Let the final proof reach to within 1/2 inch of the top of the pan before covering it, and baking it. I would follow Hamelman's guidance and use a 400°F oven.

If, on the other hand, you increase the dough weight I'd not exceed 3.00 lbs, and I'd increase the baking time by 8 to 10 minutes. If you're baking more than one loaf, I suggest you try two different weights, and keep good notes.

Please let me know the result.

David G