Sourdough Pain de Mie –

by

This is a sourdough version of the king of breads. It makes a nice loaf with lots of subtle tastes. It works best with a clangy San Francisco sourdough, but it will also do well with a milder sourdough starter. It has a tight, smooth crumb with good tooth and taste without being too heavy.

Starter:
100 grams sourdough starter
200 grams all-purpose flour
200 grams water

Dough:
500 grams mature starter
375 grams bread flour
125 grams whole-wheat flour
30 grams milk powder
30 grams sugar or honey
11 grams salt
150 grams water
1 pkg yeast (optional)
30 grams soft butter (optional)

Starter:
Mix the sourdough starter, flour and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 12 hours at 68°F to 70°F. Less time if the kitchen is warmer. You will get more complex flavor development from the slower rise. Don’t get higher than the low 80’s in temperature or your sourdough will be totally unhappy.

Dough:
Mix all the ingredients and low speed for 3 minutes, or until all incorporated. This will be a bit of a sticky, moist dough. Mix on second speed for 5 minutes. Put into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Fold. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Form into a log and place in an oiled Pullman pan. Let rise until 3/4″ to 1/2″ from the top. Close the top and bake at 400°F for 45 minutes. Cool on a rack, wrap in baker’s cloth overnight. Do NOT yield to the temptation to cut it before it’s cooled down or the flavor and crumb will not be fully developed.

Some additional comments:
The choice between sugar or honey is yours. They both work nicely.

Adding regular yeast will give a higher, faster rise at the expense of some of the subtle flavors.

Using butter will shorten the dough and give a slightly more tender crumb. I don’t find that it is really necessary.

If you want to use more whole-wheat flour and less bread flour, just adjust proportions as necessary. If you do much more whole-wheat you probably will need to use commercial yeast to get a decent rise.

You could also do this as a standard round loaf or in a regular bread pan. This will make about a 2-1/2 pound loaf. Scale it off to 1-1/2 lb. to 1-3/4 lb. for use in a regular bread pan.

HERSELF SEZ: This is a really nice bread! I don’t know which I like better, his Honey-Wheat PdM, or this. Both make great toast, both make lovely sandwiches. The Sourdough PdM is slightly “chewier” to me, and that gives it an interesting quality for buttering and simply eating!

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