The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% Whole Wheat Pain De Mie

  • Pin It
Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

100% Whole Wheat Pain De Mie

If anyone has experience with whole wheat pain de mie, then this goes out to you:

Are homemade pain de mie's usually heavier than store-bought ones? I tried King Arthur Flour's "A Smaller 100% Whole Wheat Pain De Mie" (followed the ingredients and directions to the letter), and the loaf was incredibly dense and didn't fill the pan.

So I adjusted my own whole wheat recipe (no potato flakes or dried milk powder), which includes soaking the flour for 30 mins, and although the bread filled the pan and was definitely lighter, it was still heavier than the loaves I'm used to baking. And even though the recipe was scaled down from a regular 9-inch loaf, it took longer to bake, and I'm not sure I understand why..

The bottom line is I would love to make a 100% whole wheat pain de mie that is almost weightless and fluffy, like the ones in the store. Any thoughts or ideas would greatly be appreciated.. Thanks. :)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Delbadry,

Pain de Mie in the form you describe it is really an "industrial" loaf, primarily reliant on high speed mixing to reduce the dough in order to achieve the increased loaf volume you are seeking.

The best information I have seen on how this is achieved by a homebaker is the work of txfarmer, specifically here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21575/sourdough-100-whole-wheat-oatmeal-sandwich-bread-whole-grain-breads-can-be-soft-too but she has a number of posts relating to high-crown sandwich type breads.

You will note that the key really is intensive mixing.

Best wishes

Andy

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Thank you Andy, that's incredibly helpful. I'm gonna get reading now. :)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Do you need the square shape or do you just want a loaf without the shoulders-those annoying, droop-over- the- pan-edge shapes that break off as you eat your sandwich? As you can tell, I don't care for that shape to a slice of bread. What I have done is simply to find a pan with a deeper shape so the loaf rises and bakes straight up. It still domes but ends up as more of a hearth pan shape. A rectangular angel pan works, as does some corning casserole dishes.

As far as the softness-ananda gave you the best reference and information. Hydration, some form of rest/retardation and mix to windowpane are all essential to a soft, whole grain loaf.

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Thank you Clazar123,

Yes, the reason I bought my pullman pan to begin with is so that I could make bread that would fit in the toaster. I already have a bunch of customized recipes I'm happy with for loaves with "shoulders" (which do not fit in the toaster, but rather, hang at the top), but because of the pullman pan's different dimensions, I thought it better to start off with a King Arthur recipe for the specific pan. So I may very well try a rectangular angel pan with my own recipes - that's a great solution.

And regarding the softness, I knew that hydration was important, but I hadn't yet made the connection with intensive mixing, as Andy suggested, and windowpane, as you said. I just never associate high-gluten development with softness - but it makes perfect sense to me now because my soft white loaf recipe is made with bread flour.

Thanks again. :)

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

So then, if my deductive reasoning is worth anything, am I right to assume that if I want to give it another try in the pullman pan, that I should scale my recipe down further? After all, the last loaf I made filled the pan. So if I want the bread 'lighter', I should scale back and knead the heck out of it to windowpane to increase its volume, correct?

Thank you guys so much for your help. :)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Important to know: I don't have Pullman experience! It seems intimidating to me to figure out how a particular dough will rise just right and not compress itself. However, I believe your reasoning is correct.

Something to put out there. We (meaning bread bakers) are in the habit of talking about developing the gluten when we knead to windowpane. My recent experience with non-wheat breads has opened my eyes to the fact that we are also developing the starch. Hydration and development of the starch is just as important in order to capture the gases so nicely produced by our friends the yeasts. This is the first post where I am going to start saying that.

So.... knead the heck out of it so you can develop a good windowpane-which is the development of the gluten and the starch.

Regards

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Interesting.. That explains why the King Arthur whole wheat recipe has potato flakes in it as opposed to their white pullman loaf, which doesn't (cuz white flour is mostly starch).

Thanks ever so much! :)

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Errr, KAF's white pullman loaf DOES have potato flakes/flour in it:

Pain de mie

It calls for potato flour (sub in same weight of potato flakes).  It's a conditioner - improves keepability, moistness over time.

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Actually, I was referring to their smaller white pain de mie:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/a-smaller-pain-de-mie-recipe

I have the small pullman pan, and was comparing King Arthur's small whole wheat and small white pain de mie loaves.

I've read that potato flakes add moisture and was therefore motivated to try out their recipe. But the result was such a dense loaf. I've successfully used my adapted version of their 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf, scaled down to the size of the pan.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Yes, but the reason for one having potato flour/flakes and the other not has nothing to do with the type of flour, that's all I'm saying.  They're just different recipes.  If it didn't work for you perhaps it needed a bit different technique, or ... maybe it just plain didn't work, LOL!  But it's not a technical thing, that whole wheat flour recipes have potato flakes/flour in them and "regular" loaves don't, for some scientific reason.

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Right, I see what you're saying. Thanks! :)

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Delbadry,

A 33 x 10 x 10cm Pullman Pan would require around 1kg of dough.

It is best panned using "four-piecing"; see video link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqoYjyf4bOk

Beware that intensive mixing requires imparting mechanical energy into the dough.   Many home mixers lack power and do a marvelous job at heating up the dough with lots of friction, without actually imparting much in the way of mechanical development.   A commercial high speed mixer is programmed to impart 11 watt hours for every kilo of dough.   It usually takes around 2.5 minutes to mix, and the energy imparted in that time is difficult for a homebaker to really appreciate.

You should use good quality bread flour instead of a cheaper flour fortified with VWG [rubber bands].

Best wishes

Andy

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Thank you so much, and I have noticed that my mixer seems to smack the dough around the bowl as opposed to actual kneading.. :) I knew I probably wouldn't be able to recreate the airy, super-volumized, whole wheat pullman loaves like at the store, but you've helped me get happily close enough. :)

Thanks again. :)

Delbadry's picture
Delbadry

Thank you for all the help - I successfully scaled the recipe back to 75%, kneaded the dough to a good windowpane, and am now the happy baker of tender and lighter whole wheat pullman loaves. :)