Cookbook review by Tracey Zabar
This bread, with or without the addition of pepper, will amaze your guests. The house will be perfumed when you bake this yeasty treat. As you enter Poilne's original bakery in Paris, you might be welcomed with an offer to take a punition (punishment), actually a tiny sweet sugar cookie. Channel your inner grand-mre and try this pain de mie. It's easy to make. This week, we are giving away a copy of the cookbook and five bottles of Zabar's favorite peppercorns.
Enter to win Poilne & Zabar's peppercorns! Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Poilne" and you'll be entered to win. The winner will be selected randomly on 12/19/19 and will be contacted by email. For an extra chance to win, refer a friend. (Note: The Poilne cookbook and Zabar's favorite peppercorns can be sent to the 50 United States and DC, age 18+ only.)
Black Pepper Pain de Mie
Makes one 11-by-4-inch (28-by-10-c,) Pullman loaf or one 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf
Pain de mie, which Americans call a Pullman loaf, has a tender crumb and a slightly sweet flavor from the addition of milk. Because it is baked in a special lidded loaf pan, theres little expansion and no crowning, so the loaf slices into almost perfect squares. (Dont worry if you dont have the pan; you can use a regular loaf pan and foil.)
We add black pepper to our pain de mie, which creates a subtle floral flavor. It also helps make the perfect sandwich bread: already-seasoned slices that require only the filling. I like the pepper blend made by Olivier Roellinger of pices Roellinger in Paris. Instead of a single flavor, his Poivre des Mondes (Peppers from the World) offers a concerto of notes. Or, you can make the pain de mie without the black pepper. The dough may rise slightly faster. The bread works well for savory applications, but I really love it spread with chocolate for an unusual sweet bite.
294 g (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) bread flour
98 g ( cup) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon (13 g) sugar
1 teaspoons (5 g) active dry yeast
1 teaspoons (8 g) fine sea salt
2 teaspoons (5 g) Poivre des Mondes blend by pices Roellinger (see Sources, page 277) or freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm (100F to 110F; 37C to 43C) whole milk
3 scant tablespoons (45g) lukewarm (100F to 110F; 37C to 43C) water
3 tablespoons (1 ounces; 42 g) unsalted butter, softened
Neutral oil, such as canola, for the pan
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine both flours, the sugar, and yeast. Mix in the salt and pepper. With the mixer on low, gradually add the milk and water and knead until a dough forms, about 1 minute. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until its almost completely blended before adding the next, and continue mixing until all the butter is incorporated and the dough is elastic and sticky, about 3 minutes.
Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm (72F to 77F/22C to 25C), draft-free place until almost doubled in size, 2 to 2 hours.
Oil an 11-by-4-inch (28-by-10-cm) Pullman loaf pan or a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan. Lightly flour a work surface.
Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead it gently to press out any large bubbles; be careful not to deflate the dough too much. Gently stretch two opposite sides of the dough and fold them over into the center. Stretch and fold the top and bottom of the dough over to form a ball. Gently shape the dough into a log about the length of the pan.
Transfer the dough to the pan seam side down, tucking the ends underneath if necessary to create a smooth, even top. Oil enough plastic wrap to cover the dough and cover the pan with it, oil side down. Let rest in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has risen to just about inch (1.25 cm) from the top of the pan, 30 minutes to 1 hours, depending on the temperature where it is rising (begin checking early).
Meanwhile, about 25 minutes before baking, position a rack in the lower third and preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and, if using a Pullman pan, oil the lid and slide it on. Or, wrap the loaf pan tightly in a double layer of aluminum foil, oiling the part of the foil that will be in contact with the dough. (Be sure the ends of the pan are well wrapped too, or some dough might escape during baking.) Bake for 35 minutes.
Carefully remove the lid or foil, return the bread to the oven, and bake until the top is light brown, 10 to 15 minutes more; the center of the loaf should register between 190F (88C) and 210F (99C) on an instant-read thermometer.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before slicing. Stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in linen at room temperature, the pain de mie will keep for 2 to 3 days.
Black Pepper Pain de Mie is excerpted from POILNE: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery 2019 by Apollonia Poilne. Photography 2019 by Philippe Vaurs Santamaria. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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