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A Smaller Pain de Mie

Author: PJ Hamel

Pain de mie is a fine-textured, moist bread baked in a special lidded pan. The lid keeps the loaf from crowning, giving it a flat top and perfectly square-edged slices. For toast (and French toast), sandwiches (including our favorite, grilled cheese), and the best bread-and-butter ever, you simply can't beat pain de mie.

While most pain de mie recipes call for a traditional 13" x 4" x 4" pan, this one is perfect for our smaller 9" x 4" pan. If you have the larger pan, see our recipe for classic Pain de Mie.

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
one 9" loaf

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

  • 7/8 cup to 1 cup lukewarm water*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk powder
  • *Use the lesser amount in a humid environment or during the summer; the greater amount in a dry climate, or during the winter.

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead — by hand, or using a stand mixer — to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff; it should be smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or large (8-cup) measuring cup. Cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's become quite puffy, though not necessarily doubled in size.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" pain de mie pan. Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap, to protect the dough as it rises.
  4. Let the dough rise for about 60 minutes, till it's within about 1/2" of the top edge of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap, and slide the greased lid onto the pan. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, till it's a rich golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 195°F to 200°F. If you prefer a lighter-colored crust, tent the loaf with foil as soon as you remove the pan lid.
  6. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.
  7. Yield: one 9" loaf, about 18 to 24 servings, depending on how you slice it.