Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


BBB ~ Bee Keeper’s Pain de Mie

Several years ago, maybe you remember, I was lucky enough to travel the short distance from Seattle to the King Arthur Flour Baking School in Skagit Valley, Washington for 4 days of baking with whole grains.  The day before my class started Martin Philip had been doing a workshop for several days with professional bakers. He had left behind several, no make that many of his Powerbrot loaves.  I don’t remember just how many I allowed myself to take before I felt too ashamed to take more but the number must have been over 6. Powerbrot is heavy with whole grains and rye. It is a heavenly loaf; absolutely perfect for breakfast and certainly with morning coffee and afternoon tea.

But that is not to be the June Babe Bread.  Just a short time ago in the mists of all this virus fun, I was talking with a friend who really loves rye, so I baked a great rye loaf which they did enjoy. My friend came up with TP and bleach which I hadn’t been able to come up with so my next thought was I need a totally different bread experience to share.  In surfing around King Arthur’s web site, I came across this recipe.   Which I baked…and I was blown away by. I mean me the original whole grain baker who shuns very much white flour. Now truth be told I did fiddle with the recipe and it did end up with some small amount of whole wheat in it but for me it is ridiculously white.  

My adaptation: 13X5 pullman pan – one loaf –
200 grams white whole wheat flour, my substitution
500 grams King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
25 grams wheat bran, my addition
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
227 grams (227g) lukewarm water
1/2 cup (113g) milk, at room temperature
3 tablespoons (64g) honey
7 tablespoons (99g) unsalted butter, at room temperatureI followed the directions on the web page.
OK. That recipe made a big loaf, that recipe is for the large 13X5 pullman pan. To bake this for my friend and then again for us, I wanted to be able to bake this in my smaller pullman 9X5 pan. At some point it occurred to me to look at Martin Philip’s Breaking Bread to see if he had a recipe there.  HaHa this is one he created for his bid for the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie.  The recipe in the book uses a biga – bingo, got to be even better than the straight dough recipe on the web site.  Alass, the recipe in the book also was for two loaves.  HaHa, a simple call to the Baker’s hot line and I had the simple answer to my problem. “Just divide every ingredient in half and it will fit into the smaller pullman”! 
I bake a loaf. I gave it to my friend – in a wild spy like pass off where we kept social distance, wore masks, I put the loaf onto her towel in the trunk of her car, backed off and then she wrapped it and drove away.  Next morning, 7:30AM, I mean I’m still in bed, I get this gushing crazy phone call about the most wildly incredible bread and then dramatic photos. 

We all need white bread from time to time…or at least mostly white bread. You will note I do add a little white whole wheat here.  And I will also tell you, I am going to be baking some altered iteration of this recipe to do it with a biga next week.

Below you will find mostly the recipe from the book, I simply divided it in half for my friend.  I oddly had durum flour BUT King Arthur said bread flour is a good substitute and that’s what I’ll be using now as my durum is gone. We are Babes: feel free to bake from the book recipe, the web site recipe or the whole wheat recipe from the website. 

I’m excited as always on the 16th of the month to see where the Babes take this recipe and expect Babe Variety to showcase an amazing bread. For me, a major draw of this bread was the honey … but I can tell you already a number of the Babe’s went strong for the tea and lavender. I’ve ordered lavender as I know I must give that one a try.

Photo by Friend Mary J.

Bee Keeper’s Pain de Mie

Adapted from Breaking Bread by Martin Philip 

Martin Philip’s book Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes has some of the best reading I’ve seen in years and maybe ever. 

Ingredients: below are the measurements from the book; you must divide if you want only one smaller loaf. 

Breaking Bread – two 9X5 pullman pans
410 grams durum flour
410 grams AP flour352 grams water172 grams wildflower tea (lavender) 17 grams salt, fine16 grams yeast123 grams butter

******** BIGA******** 
410 grams AP flour(I used white whole wheat here)
246 grams water
pinch yeast
******** WILDFLOWER LAVENDER TEA********170 grams milk35 grams honey, subtracted 57 grams sugar, increased honey4 grams lavender  2 grams chamomile flowers******** FINAL DOUGH FORMULA********172  grams wildflower tea656  grams Biga (all above)106 grams water410 grams Durum flour or Bread flour123  grams butter17 grams salt, fine16 grams yeast

DAY ONE – BIGA Combine the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. 
Add tepid water (75-80°.  Mix briefly, then knead until a smooth dough forms.
Cover and set at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.

WILDFLOWER LAVENDER TEA ~ I have not used the chamomile and lavender. One day I will make it with lavender. Combine milk, honey in a small pot.
Over low heat, warm the mixture so the honey mixes into the milk.
When there are small bubbles around the edges add the chamomile and lavender if using.
Turn off the heat.
Cover and allow to set at room temperature 12 to16 hours.
Strain before using.
Warm the tea to 80° when ready to use.

Ending desired dough temperature: 80°.Combine strained Tea, all the BIGA and the water.Mix until the biga is broken up.Add very soft butter, flour, salt and yeast.Stir until the dough forms a shaggy mass.Resist the urge to add more flour.
BULK FERMENTATION Cover and allow to rise for about 90 minutes.
FOLDFold after 30 and 60 minutes; then leave untouched until divide.

DIVIDE AND PRESHAPEDivide the dough into 2 pieces which will weight approximately 750 grams each.Preshape as tubes. Cover and rest 15 minutes.
SHAPEButter or spray two loaf pans or two 9×5 inch pullman pans.Shape as pan loaves.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.Place in pans seam side down. Press dough into pans to evenly fill to all corners.
PROOFFor loaf pans: Cover and proof until dough is about 1 to 1.5 inches above top of pan: about 60 – 90 minutes.For pullman pans: 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.
Allow the dough to rise until it’s just below the lip of the pan, 60 to 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

BAKE Close the pan lid completely, and put the pan in the oven.

Pullman pan with lid on. I love this pan.

Bake the bread for 20 then remove the lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. The loaf should be a deep golden brown on all sides.

Remove the loaf from the oven and, after 5 minutes, turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. Do not allow to cool in the pan as that will result in a soggy crust.

Don’t have a pullman pan; it makes a beautiful regular loaf!

You may find one brick allows the dough to slip out one end, It’s still a stellar loaf!
The Crumb …


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.

Cut everything in half for the smaller pullman pan.
The recipe in the book is for two smaller pullman or loaf pans.
I really hope everybody enjoys this one.  Gorn is wild for it. I’m wishing I could bake the whole wheat version for my grandkids and win them to whole wheat but that will have to wait for … a vaccine?

How can you not give this one a try, it is beyond compare. If you do bake this, we would love to hear which recipe and/how you made it your own. Just drop me an email – comments my kitchen at mac dot com – and I’ll put you in the round up here after the 1st of July and send you a shiny badge. Please use BBB Buddy w Bee Keeper’s Pain De Mie as the subject line.