Yet Another Pain de Mie Variation
In just 2 days I’ll take a short Spring break vacation so I need to clean out the fridge. Having quite some starter excess available I decide to bake my favorite Pain de Mie Variation and carry the bread with me flying across the Atlantic. For this loaf I use different types of flours and seeds, including some nine-grain mix thrown in for good measure.
This bread turns out so well that it deserves a post by itself. The semolina flour does make the bread seem drier; on the upshot it stays crackly crunchy for a long time. It bakes well into a mahogany color crust and a beautiful crumb studded with seeds and pieces of coarse cornmeal. I even record a video of its “musique du pain” within minutes it’s taken out of the oven.
I bake 2 medium-sized loaves, keep one for my favorite sandwiches and share the other loaf with my friends, the Carsonis. Few weeks ago I also gave a loaf of Pain de Mie to the same family where it was well received and quickly consumed.
Update; I brought the rest of my bread with me on my said trip which was being canceled about 4 times due to the recent Iceland volcanic eruptionso enjoyed the slices in the four days of being an accidental tourist in San Francisco (Face Book link only). Always bring your bread with you when you travel it comes in handy at unexpected time.
Let’s create this bread.
200 g starter excess (100 % hydration white and rye)
450 g water
400 g all-purpose flour (mine is only 9% protein) + 1 1/2 teaspoon of wheat gluten
200 g fine semolina flour
1/8 tsp gold instant yeast **
102 g nine-grain mix + 1 TBsp toasted wheat germs + 2 TBsp quinoa grain/seed + mostly toasted sesame seed and some pepitas.
** I did not have enough starter & it did not look particularly active. Just to be sure I add a tiny amount of yeast to give the dough a boost.
Measure the flour, the wheat gluten, yeast, and nine-grain mix in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk blend the mixture well.
Add the starter in the flour mixture; add water to the starter container to loosen the starter that clings to the container.
Measure the water, add to the mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until hydrated; it needs not to be perfectly mixed.
Let the dough autolyse for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Cover well with quick saran wrap.
Add the salt, mix the dough by hand or use a mixer to medium gluten development, about 10 – 20 minutes depends on which method you use. I use a bread maker set at dough mixing to mix it well; it takes me 15 minutes.
Fold in the seeds either by hand or at low-setting on your mixer until just well-blended, no more than 2 minutes by machine.
Put the dough in an oiled container, 2.5 times its size. If your dough need more structure, give it a few folds within the next hour then proceed to cold storage overnight for a long fermentation, from 10 hours up to 24 hours.
This particular dough is quite strong so I decide not to fold it at all but leave it out on the counter for 45 minutes then put it into the fridge.
When you are ready to bake the bread, take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature about 2 hours or so. If you leave it in a warm place it might take less time. Sprinkle some flour on the dough, take it out of the bowl and place it on a floured counter.
This particular dough is soft even with all the grains and seeds in it; it has a wonderful elasticity/extensibility profile. I can already anticipate the slashing which would be a breeze.
Divide it into 2 equal portion (use a scale). Roughly shape into 2 balls, sprinkle some flour on the surface, loosely cover with saran wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes.
Shape dough into 2 batards. I proof the loaves directly on parchment paper-line baking sheet right side up. Take care to leave room for expansion between the loaves. I use rolled towels or this to aid support to the loaves and to encourage rising-up expansion.
Sprinkle some flour on the loaves. Put the whole baking sheet inside a large garbage bag and leave it at a warm place 72° F – 75° F. I turn the appliance light on and put the whole thing in the oven.
Let the loaves proof until well expanded, light and full of bubbles.
In the meantime turn on the oven with a baking stone/tiles at 450 ° F, at least 45 minutes before the bake.
Slash the loaves off center with a utility blade or sharp knife or use a lame, at an angle about 30 degrees to create a flap over the dough to encourage ear and open “grigne” development.
Load the loaves on parchment in the oven. Turn the oven down to 435 ° F. Bake the loaves with burst of steam the first 15-18 minutes.
Take the parchment off so that the loaves bake directly on the baking tiles. Bake for another 30 minutes or so. Turn them half way into the bake so they bake evenly. Turn the oven of; crack the oven door open ajar; leave the loaves inside to crisp up for another 10 minutes. This method works really well.
Take the loaves out. Let them cool completely on a wire rack. Do not rush to cut into them. Well, if you can’t stand it, cut a thin slice around the edge only; leave the center of the loaf alone until it cools down the next hour or so. Be patient.
and the crumb with seeds, cracked corn nested in the crumb cells
I enjoy this bread very very much. I made sandwiches twice in a row.
Sandwich I: [wild Alaskan] Smoked salmon, avocado, sea salt, cracked pepper on Pain de Mie bread.
Sandwich II: [wild Alaskan] Smoked salmon, avocado, crème fraîche, sea salt, cracked pepper on Pain de Mie bread.
Hope you will enjoy making this bread and be creative about the different types of flours and seeds. Enjoy baking and eating!
I am sending this bread [again, shamelessly] to share with the folks at this week’s Yeast Spotting.