I love baking bread with my sourdough starter, I really do. But sometimes, I want to bake bread on a whim. Sometimes, I want it to be a one day project – a one morning project, even – rather than a two to three day project. This is why I also love baking bread with commercial yeast, because when Nate asks for sandwich bread on Saturday evening, I can totally get it done on Sunday morning without having to do any planning or waiting for my sourdough starter to come out of hibernation.
Pain de mie is the French version of a sandwich loaf, commonly used to make the croque monsieur sandwich: a delicious combination of ham, melty cheese, and béchamel sauce on grilled bread. To die for. Traditionally, pain de mie is baked in a loaf pan with a lid so that it comes out perfectly square with a crunchy crust on all four sides, but I chose to bake it without a lid, and it is probably the most perfect-looking loaf of bread I’ve ever made! I think that comes down to the fact that I didn’t divide the dough into two loaves, and instead baked the whole thing in one 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, which gave it plenty of opportunity to rise up in a nice dome. I further broke from tradition by using one-third whole wheat flour, milled in my WonderMill grain mill. The bread is light and airy but it also has a nice wheaty flavour and a little bit of texture. A win all around, I’d say. I’m looking forward to sandwiches this week!
For the recipe, head over to the Grain Mill Wagon blog.