breadfruit pain de mie: a perfect sandwich loaf
I received a parcel of breadfruit flour in the mail this week. It’s my first time using the product so there’s quite a bit of experimenting for me to do before I’m completely comfortable with this fruit-based meal, but making this pain de mie was a most gratifying experience. Breadfruit has been described as bland (I don’t think so, I love my breshe) but there is definitely a concentration of flavor in the flour, it does taste and smell a little like the young (green) fruit. I think a version made with the very fit (turned) fruit would be delightful, and if they could find a way to smoke or toast it before pounding, I’d be their biggest customer. My foreign guests to Jamaica had often described the taste of boiled breadfruit as that of boiled potatoes, and potato bread is my favorite sandwich-style loaf to make, so I decided to develop a recipe for a breadfruit sandwich loaf.
This recipe uses white bread flour along with breadfruit flour; it is not gluten free. It only took two attempts before I was comfortable enough to share the results. The flavor was good on both occasions but on the second time I decided to add more breadfruit flour for a nuttier flavor. The loaf was remarkably moist on both occasions. I will try this recipe a third time, sifting the breadfruit flour, in an attempt to achieve a more uniform crumb. There were a few distinguishable bits of breadfruit throughout the loaf, due to the coarse grind of this particular brand of flour, but the flavor and texture are very much top notch.
perfectly thin slices, ready to to be buttered up
Please be sure to make this recipe by weight, as bread baking requires very exact measurements; you can buy a small kitchen scale here. If you do not have a pullman loaf pan, you can make this bread to fit into two 5×8 loaf pans. Simply cut the dough in half before the final shaping (step 8). Make a note of all ingredients before getting started, and be sure to have your butter out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start baking. Please be sure to add your wet ingredients to the bowl first if you are using a stand mixer, if mixing by hand add the dry first then make a well for the liquids.
1. To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook, add:
160 grams whole milk (at room temperature)
220 grams warm water (at 80°F)
38 grams sugar
30 grams nonfat milk powder
100 grams breadfruit flour (also sold as breadfruit powder)
500 grams strong bread flour
7 grams instant yeast
2. Mix on low speed for 3-5 minutes or until thoroughly blended, rest in mixing bowl for 15 minutes.
A smooth dough with visible flecks of breadfruit throughout
3. While dough is resting, in a small bowl, combine
20 grams warm water
13 grams sea salt
4. Add salt water mixture to the dough and mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, until dough is voluntarily pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
5. Add, one cube at a time, until incorporated
85 grams butter (at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
6. After butter is incorporated into dough, transfer it to a lightly oiled container and mark where the top of the dough is. Cover tightly (with the container’s lid, plastic wrap or a processing cap) and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take between 1 and 2 hours depending on how warm your proofing area is.
7. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, return it to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down gently then roll it into a ball. Leave the dough on the work surface covered with the bowl or a towel for 10 minutes.
Dough deflated and rolled into a ball
Visible bits of breadfruit on the smooth surface
8. Gently flatten the ball into a rectangle then roll the dough into a tight 13-inch log. Place the dough firmly into a greased 13-inch pullman loaf pan. You may gently coax the dough into the corners of the pan by pressing the top until the log fits more snugly. Cover with clear plastic wrap or a processing cap and allow to rise until the highest point in the dough is almost in line with the lip of the pan. This will take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your proofing area is. While the loaf is proofing, pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
I was a little rough with my log, ergo the tears, but bread is very forgiving
these processing caps are an effective and inexpensive way of covering containers in the kitchen
9. Once the loaf has adequately risen, uncover the pan then re-cover it with its designated metal cover. If you do not desire a pullman shape, you do not have to cover the loaf but I do recommend a light egg wash, in this case. Place loaf in oven then immediately lower the heat to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid then bake for another 20 minutes.
10. Turn the loaf onto a cooling rack. Slice and serve once your loaf is cool to the touch (after at least 30 minutes).