Pain de mie is a bread that’s perfectly rectangular, perfectly lovely for sandwiches, and perfectly doable with any old loaf pan. (It’s traditionally made in a Pullman pan but we show you how to use any old pan.)
Pain de mie means “bread of the crumb” in French, and it’s called that because of how the bread is baked; the vessel that holds the dough creates a finished product with very little crust and almost all crumb. The butter and milk make this a soft and malleable dough, which is supported by the pan it’s baked in. The pan used for baking, called Pullman because it replicates the shape of a railway car, is long and rectangular with a removable sliding lid, and is sold at specialty food stores. It promotes a flat, rectangular loaf of bread. However, I’ve had luck by using a regular loaf pan and covering the top tightly with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil, doubled and wrapped snugly around the pan. This lovely bread with a tight and tender crumb is an excellent sandwich bread.–Sarah Black
Pain de Mie
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 3 H, 30 M
- Makes 1 loaf
Special Equipment: One Pullman loaf pan (15 3/4-by-3 3/4-inches or 40-by-9 1/2-cm) or one standard loaf pan (9-by-5-inch or 22-by-13-cm); instant-read thermometer
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
A no-knead dough that produces a nice firm white loaf perfect for sandwiches and toast? Yes, please! This makes a perfect white bread and was such a treat it was devoured within a day. My only issue was with the dough itself - there are plenty of instructions listed for how to fold, and they all make sense, but the dough was so sticky and wet, that it was impossible to fold in any way at all. In the end it got plunked into the pan, but still turned out beautifully. I used the aluminum foil wrapped around the pan method which worked perfectly.
As described, the bread was soft with a close crumb, and the crust was thin and soft. It was easy to slice thinly for toast or sandwiches. I used some to make French toast and it was sublime. I sprinkled the counter heavily with flour before turning out the dough. The folding directions were easy to follow. I was surprised how quickly the dough became less sticky and easier to handle after folding it as directed. I don’t have a Pullman pan, so I used a regular 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. The dough seemed like way too much for the pan, it filled it more than half-full right after shaping, before any further rising. I did have a small leakage of dough out of the end of the pan, but the foil did a good job of keeping the top mostly flat. I have never made pain de mie before and I haven’t yet added a Pullman pan to my baking collection. After baking this recipe, I might need to add it to my birthday wish list.
I love making breads, any kind of breads and try new flavors and textures. But French breads like this one, soft, tender, with very little crust, are my favorites. Although it takes about 4 hours to prepare, the final bread makes it all worthwhile. And it’s not so difficult, so if you want to do bread this is a good recipe to start with. It tastes better the same day it is baked!
If you love butter, you will love this bread! This is unlike other breads I have made. The butter in this recipe gives it a biscuit-like crust and the butter is stronger in flavor than I was expecting--closer to that of a biscuit. It is very good and would be a nice addition to soups or would make good toast for breakfast. It is also good sandwich bread and slices nicely. Overall, this bread is great for anything if you are wanting a stronger butter-flavored bread.