Monday, January 10, 2011

Pullman's Bread


As Hamelman notes, pullman bread is also known as pain de mie or bread of crumb because of its thin crust. It is the ideal loaf for making small elegant sandwiches or canap├ęs. Baked in covered pullman pans, the bread is a long brick of a loaf with very square slices. It is a beautiful white bread with a fine even crumb. The crusts can be trimmed away, if you desire, giving a small, perfect sandwich about 3 inches or so on a side. Personally, I like the crust. The inclusion of powdered milk and small amounts of sugar and butter give a loaf with a pleasant flavor—not as rich as a brioche, but not a bland white bread either.

Hamelman recipe appears flawless. This is a straight bread that is easily made in a single day. With most of the recipes in the book, I've gone back and made the recipe a second time making small tweaks. This has less to do with a desire to improve the recipes—rather I'm making changes to account for differences in taste, to personalize, or even to claim ownership. However, with this recipe, I see no reason to make changes. It is exactly the recipe I want.

The recipe makes enough for a pullman's loaf with enough left over for another small loaf. When baking the loaf, I cut the recipe by 1/3 which gave me just enough dough for the pullman's loaf, (my only change to the recipe). Even so, this is a lot of bread—a loaf that weighs over two pounds and is over a foot long. Keeping properties aren't great, but the loaf is certainly useful as is for two or three days and can be used for toast and the like for a few more days. This is consistent with other pullman loaves I've made in the past.

A winner.

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