Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pullman bread pans

Recently, I purchased from an online baker acquaintance a couple things. One thing I got from her were these pans:

 I had learned about them on the bread forum I occasionally frequent. They are called a pullman bread pan for the pullman trains. Here's from Wikipedia: "The name, "Pullman," was derived from its use in the compact kitchens of the Pullman railway cars. The Pullman Company is credited with inventing the lidded baking pans used to create the square loaves. Three Pullman loaves occupied the same space as two standard round-topped loaves, thus maximizing the use of space in the Pullman kitchen."

Now I don't need to save space in the oven as I have two full size ovens, but I do need space in the lunch box for my younger son. Plus, I learned that a lot of commercial sandwich breads are actually baked in lidded bread pans, and I suspect the loaf my son loves is. And that's the bread I want to replace in the lunch box! It just irks me that I have to spend $3.29 a loaf for white bread. Do you know how cheap white bread is to make? Super cheap even when you count in the electricity use.

I looked all over for recipes for pan de mie (French for pullman loaf bread). I was missing a few ingredients I usually have on hand and didn't really have the chance to go to the store with a sick kid at home. I found this recipe on the Fresh Loaf and it turned out great using whole milk instead of using milk powder. I was out of a lot of things (milk powder being one), but I had rye flour!

Having never made this bread before, I didn't know what to expect, but he gave pretty good directions and it turned out well. Next time I'll work a bit more on working the dough into the corners, but other than that, pretty loaf:

Best of all - my son thought it was his normal bread and he ate it normally. AND it fits in his lunch box just right!

Now to learn some more recipes for these new pans. I love the look of the round boules, but for making sandwiches, especially lunches that need to fit in ziplocs or lunch boxes, it can be a challenge. Even bread with a rounded top can be too big. This kind of loaf is like a slam dunk for making it work every time.

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