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    Tuesday, November 04, 2008

    Sandwich French Bread a la Julia Child: Pain de Mie

    This is quite a different dough from the bread I have been making over the last couple of years.

    I saw Mrs. Child make this on an old programme on Food TV. I just had to have a go.
    In France this particular bread is made specifically for sandwiches and toast.

    It is a milk and butter dough…Fairly rich.
    The French have a special pan to make this square loaf, but I made it in a loaf tin.

    There is quite a lot of resting and leaving to rise.
    You can’t rush this bread but you can delay it.
    If you wanted it fresh for lunch I suggest you make it in the afternoon, leave it in the fridge for the second rise and in the morning you can complete the job,
    You will then have fresh bread cooled and ready to slice for your lunch time treat.
    Or another option...after the second rise, wrap with plastic and freeze till you need it.

    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 1/3 cups tepid milk
    2 teaspoons salt

    1 pkt yeast dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm water

    Mix up with a spatula when you have a sticky ball
    Turn out onto bench and rest for a few minutes

    Knead on a lightly floured board till the dough gets elastic
    Use a flat scraper like a paint scraper to lift the dough
    Push down with the heel of your left hand and lift the dough with the scraper.
    Pick it up and throw it. No gentle handling here just whack it.
    Keep going till it gets elastic and smooth – 3-4 minutes and it no longer sticks to your hand.
    Leave to rest again for a couple of minutes

    Take 55gms butter from the fridge and bash it flat
    Knead it with the heel of you hand.
    This makes it malleable ready to add to the dough
    Put a small bit of the squashed butter on the dough and start to work it in.
    Keep adding the butter and work hard. It becomes quite ropey but it will mix in.
    Use your scraper to lift all the bits from the bench.
    You shouldn’t have to add more flour it will work in.
    Get it into a ball and place back in a clean bowl
    Cover and leave to rise about 3 hours
    Knock the dough down and onto a lightly floured bench
    With floury hands pat into a rectangle and fold into 3 turn pat down again and fold once again into three.
    Pop this back into your clean bowl and leave to rise again for another 1 1/2 hours.
    Look at this dough it is magnificent
    Knock it down
    And pat down on the bench with floured hands.
    I love handling this dough it is so silky…I bet the little kids would love to play with it.
    Now that’s an idea for when they next come over.

    I took the delay option and made a little parcel of the dough and wrapped in plastic
    It went into the freezer till it was needed.
    So I took it out of the freezer and left it overnight to defrost in the fridge.

    Next time I would take it out and let it defrost on the bench.
    After I had defrosted was time to form the bread.
    Pat it out on a lightly floured bench
    Fold over and make a crease with your hand on the edge
    Turn it onto the crease and make a trench with you hand on the top, and fold it over again.
    The idea is to turn it till you get a nice smooth top.
    Fold it over again and pinch the edges and put the edge on the bottom you should have a nice smooth top.
    Pop it into a light greased loaf tin
    Leave to rise in a warm place
    Heat oven to 220C
    Cook for 30- 35 minutes.
    I found in my oven it was ready after 30 minutes.
    Isn't it sensational!

    Take it out of the tin and cool on it’s side.
    Mrs. Child suggested that you leave to cool completely makes it easier to slice.
    Now it should keep for a couple of days. T is an enriched bread and tastes like brioche but not so buttery.

    It is excellent we couldn’t wait and I cut into it while it was still warmish. Bit hard to handle but it was gorgeous. Well worth trying. We loved it.
    Unfortunately because we were greedy cutting the loaf while still warm pushed it out of shape,
    The remainder (not a lot) went into a plastic bag and the fridge.
    Made great toast.
    My breakfast...Peanut butter, tomato and a little basil. What could be better?
    So to recap the instructions

    Mix the ingredients in a bowl
    Turn out onto lightly floured board
    Rest for a couple of minutes
    Knead using the spatula method till the dough is elastic.
    Rest again for 2-3 minutes

    Mash your butter to make it malleable
    Add a little butter to the dough and work it in
    Keep on adding the butter and kneading till elastic again
    Make a ball and into a clean bowl to rise
    About 3 hours.

    Knock down
    Pat into a rectangle on floured bench
    Fold in three time.
    Turn and fold into three again

    Back into a clean bowl
    Rise again for another 1-2 hours.

    Knock down
    Now you can either form your loaf or put into the freezer till you need it

    Pat out on floured board
    Form loaf
    Into a very lightly greased loaf tin.

    Leave to rise in a warm place

    Into 220C oven 30-35 minutes
    If it is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom

    Remove from tin
    Cool on rack on it’s side
    For best results
    Leave to cool before cutting

    Its not difficult just takes a bit of time and it was worth it.


    Anali said...

    What a beautiful loaf of bread! I'm so excited tonight that Obama won!! I have to get some sleep though. I'm running on nothing but caffeine and chocolate.

    Asha said...

    Beautiful homemade sandwich bread Gilly, I can't wait to start baking again. My kitchen is almost done, final touch ups going on now. I have a big task of re arranging all the stuff now and they are all dusty as well. I will post a photo later this month but will not be blogging until Jan. Also getting our dining room and powder room painted and wood floor installed in the downstairs! Phew!
    Hope you are doing well, take care!:))

    Kristina said...

    What do you think would happen if I used soy milk instead of regular cow's milk?

    So Simple said...

    I haven't use Soy Milk I don't like it. But I have used rice milk in cakes and that seems to work so give it a go love to hear how it works. Cheers