Pullman loaf pan

This recipe is similar to the other loaf recipes I’d done before. Nothing new here so I wasn’t ultra thrilled about it. Sure I was looking forward to yummy bread and using the Pullman pan again, but there wasn’t a new technique to master or new flour to work with. While I was gathering all the ingredients, I noticed something and could hardly believe my eyes. My oven has a Proofing option. It was there ALL ALONG! Kaboom. Mind blown. I’d seen the bakers on The Great British Baking Show use the proofing drawer, but I had no idea I had one. I decided to use it since it was a cold day. It was simple. Press the option then press Start. It reads “standard proofing” on the display. It barely generates any heat at all but it’s there. I worked through my weighing and measuring, being sure to allow for more dough this time since previous tries were not filling the pan, and then I mixed it all up. Love that stand mixer! I put the dough in the oiled bowl and then loaded her up in the warm oven. I couldn’t believe how much of a rise I got out of it! It was huge. Here it is after I pulled it out of the bowl. I’ve also included a video of me shaping the dough into an oblong. Once it is shaped, it rests for about 20 minutes before it gets loaded into the oiled Pullman loaf pan.

Bread dough after initial rise

Look at how puffy the dough got after the first rise.

I didn’t get a picture of the dough in the Pullman pan, but I actually made too much dough. I was trying to make sure I had a full loaf of bread this time, but it was obvious when I first attempted to fill the pan that there was just too much. The recipe said to ensure that the dough had space for the final rise, but it was already almost two thirds full. So, I just eyeballed a chunk and removed it from the total. I made a large knot with that and was pleased with what was there. After the final rise – such lovely dough – I plopped on the lid and put the pan in the oven. It took about 35-40 minutes to bake (if my memory is working since I made it almost two weeks ago). When I went to check on it, I couldn’t get the lid to budge. Oops! I guess it was full. Luckily I was able to jimmy it out and wow was it just perfect. I must have stared at it for five minutes. Here’s what it looked like.

The whole wheat flour to bread flour ratio was just perfect. Not too earthy, soft, and the perfect chew. I cut off a chunk and sent it with my hubby to bring to our kid’s dance class. They loved it. I cut off a chunk and brought it to a friend’s house (mama had a night out) and she was mad I didn’t bring her an entire loaf. She enjoyed it though. The next day, I made my daughter her first PB&J with the bread and she LOVED it. This is a child who steers clear of bread ordinarily but is starting to like it. I love that I made it for her. Hands down the recipe was a keeper and I wouldn’t change a thing…well, maybe I’d adjust my measurements a little.

Loaf of bread with cut out slice

Look at that texture (and extra but from being full in the pan)