This month’s Bread Baking Babes bread is the Bee Keeper’s Pan de Mie. Tanna chose it for us to bake. Quoting her, “I’ve already made twice. If I start to describe just how superlative this bread is with every glorious descriptive that is in the thesaurus you would think I exaggerate but I swear to you as the whole grain person of all time, this is as close to white bread as I can come and I can’t get enough of it.”
A Pain de Mie is a French soft white sandwich bread. “Pain” means “bread” in French and “la mie” refers to the soft crumb. So Pan de Mie literally translates as Bread of the Crumb! Pan de Mie has a tighter crumb, and is sweeter unlike most French breads. It also keeps fresh longer because of the milk and butter in it. The bread is usually baked in a Pullman pan so it doesn’t form a crust. This makes it very good for regular and French toast, sandwiches, canapes, grilled cheese, etc.
I’m not sure why this bread is called a Bee Keeper’s Pan de Mie. Perhaps it is because of the honey used to bake it. This particular recipe is adapted from Martin Phillip’s recipe at King Arthur Flour. Martin Phillip, King Arthur Flour’s head baker, created this recipe for the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. The original recipe is written to fit a 13-inch Pullman pan. I have a 9-inch Pullman pan so I cut down the recipe by 1/3rd and that worked. I also added some whole wheat flour to the mix. Please see the original recipe if you want to bake a larger loaf.
King Arthur Flour’s bakery loaf is infused with lavender and chamomile. They suggest heating the honey and milk to a simmer, then pouring it over 2/3 tbsp each dried lavender and chamomile leaves. Then steep overnight in the refrigerator, strain and adding to the dough.
I don’t particularly like the taste or flavour of lavender but I enjoy chamomile as tea. I had both on hand and thought I would try it. I’m happy to report that the lavender and chamomile are not strong but just lend a light floral note to the bread. Everyone in my home enjoys a white bread and this one was definitely a hit, even with the floral flavour. If you choose to use the dried flowers, you will have to steep them in warm milk the night before making the bread.
The Bread Baking Babes are –