Bee Keeper's Pain de Mie

This loaf is inspired by a recipe that King Arthur Flour head baker Martin Philip created for his bid for the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. Its mild, sweet honey flavor and soft and tender crumb yield slices that are ideally suited for grilled cheese — or any other sandwich, for that matter. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you'll understand why this bread has quickly become a new favorite in our Norwich, Vermont bakery and café.
Prep
30 mins
Bake
30 to 35 mins
Total
4 hrs 10 mins
Yield
one 13" pain de mie
Bee Keeper's Pain de Mie

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix and knead — by hand or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook — until a smooth, supple dough forms.
  2. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 90 minutes.
  3. Halfway through the rise time fold the dough onto itself four times to gently deflate it and add strength.
  4. Lightly grease the base and lid of a 13" pain de mie pan (Pullman loaf pan).
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate it and pat it into an 11" x 8" rectangle.
  6. With the long side facing you, fold the bottom third of the dough up to the center and the top third over (like a business letter). Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand.
  7. At this point the shaped dough should be 13" in length to fit the pan.
  8. Place the dough seam-down into the pan, and press it evenly into the corners. Put the lid on the pan and close all but an inch or so in order to monitor the loaf as it rises.
  9. Allow the dough to rise until it's just below the lip of the pan, 60 to 90 minutes.
  10. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  11. Close the lid of the pan completely, and put the pan in the oven.
  12. Bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The loaf should be a deep golden brown on all sides.
  13. Remove the loaf from the oven and, after 5 minutes, turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Our bakery loaf is infused with lavender and chamomile. For subtle notes of these flavors, heat the honey and milk to a simmer and pour over 1 tablespoon each dried lavender and chamomile leaves. Allow to steep overnight in the refrigerator, then strain and proceed with the directions as written. Alternatively, brew 1 cup of chamomile tea, allow to cool to lukewarm, and use in place of the water in the recipe, along with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon lavender oil, if desired.
  • To mix and knead the dough using a bread machine, put all the ingredients in the bucket of your Zojirushi, adding the liquid ingredients first, the dry ingredients second, and the yeast last. Program the machine for basic dough, and press the Start/Reset button. When the cycle is complete, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and proceed with the recipe as written.