The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tell me about proofing a pan de mie when the lid is closed

clazar123's picture

Tell me about proofing a pan de mie when the lid is closed

I have a thread in which I have asked the best use of an antique pan that is lidded and clamped shut.

I decided to use it to make my weekly whole wheat but I have never made a pan de mie type bread. Normally, I'd poke my loaf to see when it was proofed and then bake. Well...this pan is designed to be filled on the bottom half and then clamped shut so the loaf rises and shapes into the top half,producing a torpedo shaped loaf.The dough is not accessible once the lid is shut. I just proofed for 15 min,couldn't open the lid and decided to bake. We may have a boat anchor! Is it that when you work with a pullman pan the recipe generally is adapted to the pan? Is there any way I can calculate about how much dough will fill and produce a pleasing (as in not compacted from pressure) crumb?

We had a warm front move in and this is the first time since last summer that my kitchen is over 65F (it is actually 84F). I didn't think to make my dough cooler and as a result, they are rising like rockets! That is why I think 15 min was enough proof time. I had another dough made that normally would be about  1 hour behind-giving me time to proof and bake the first loaf but I have it in the refrigerator to retard it a bit.Huge difference in dough behaviour with the increased temp.

cranbo's picture

I'm no expert on pan de mie but my understanding is that for a standard pullman pan, you let it rise so that the pan is 70% full or so, then you slide the lid in place. 

Based on your pan, I'd shape it, pan it but leave it unhinged, let it rise a bit then close it when it has expanded "enough", then bake. With the sealed pan you should get very good spring anyway, you shouldn't need to let it rise to fill the volume. 

To estimate the dough volume for the pan: If each half is symmetrical, I would fill 1/2 of the pan with water, and then measure the volume of the water you used. That should give you an idea of the dough volume you'll may need to use a touch more...I figure if you use the exact same volume as the water, then the dough will need to double to fill the volume exactly.


PaddyL's picture

If so, I'd just turn the pan upside down so you could check on the loaf to see if it's ready for baking.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Don't fill it so it rises full, just put some shaped dough into one side.  while baking flip the pan upside down.  When the bread is baked, one hears the bread fall down.  

clazar123's picture

A pullman pan usually has a lid on the top and the bread raises almost to the top and you then close the lid to bake. You get an idea of how it is progressing in the proof because you can see it until it is almost completely proofed. Baking is another story.

 This pan is more of a mold that is designed to have half filled and then it needs to be sealed so the  loaf assumes the shape of the mold as it proofs and then bakes. You must be able to get just the right amount of dough in the mold and time the proof and bake. There should be no room for it to fall but also it cannot be overfilled.

This is what happens when it is overfilled-a WING!

And the pan was filled to the top of the bottom part of the mold.

It had raised a bit before I took the picture.

This pan needs to be WELL greased. I missed a tiny spot with my brush and the dough stuck at just that spot.

This was some of my WW sandwich bread and it was a bit wetter than normal. Also, the day I made this, it was 85F in the kitchen-first time above 65F since last summer! I didn't compensate and all my doughs were VERY active.

So I might continue to play with this pan.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Quick before it flies away!  Are we looking at the top or the bottom?  

I wonder if baking on edge/side (like the Easter bunny/lamb molds) would let air escape better.  Is perhaps a tiny air escape hole or indentation on one side that might indicate top?  I still think I wouldn't fill them full, just like I don't fill my dutch oven full (top and bottom.)  I can't wait to see this tin buried in hot coals!   

One reason I like to dust the greased pan with crumbs is to see where I've missed smearing.  I've been hearing about all the crazy spring weather you've been having.  A jump in temps like that would make my twister nerves tingle.  And the late snow!  I just heard it snowed in the Alps.  The Andean peaks east are all white now.