Pullman Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    pullman loaves at 2.25 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Pullman Bread is so Called because of its former use on long-distance Pullman trains in the United States. In France it is known as pain de mie, or “bread of crumb,” since it is characterized by having comparatively little crust. It lends itself well to regular toast, French toast, and canapés. The bread is normally baked in rectangular straight-sided pullman pans. Any covered loaf pans can be used, however, for example round cylindrical pans and fluted loaf pans. The powdered milk and the butter give a soft crumb texture to the loaf, and an easygoing eating quality.

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 20 lb 10 kg 2 lb ( cups) 100%
Milk Powder 1 lb .5 kg 1.6 oz (5 T) 5%
Sugar .5 lb .25 kg .8 oz ( T) 2.5 %
Butter, Soft 1 lb .5 kg 1.6 oz (3 T) 5%
Water 12 lb 6 kg 1 lb, 3.2 oz (2⅜ cups) 60%
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz (1 T) 1.8 %
Yeast .5 lb, fresh .25 kg, fresh .26 oz, instant dry ( tsp) 2.5 %
Total Yield 35.36 lb 17.68 kg 3 lb, 8.1 oz 176.8 %


  1. MIXING: Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, then on second for 3 to 3½ minutes more. The dough consistency should be medium. The goal is to develop a fairly strong gluten network. Desired dough temperature is 78° to 80°F.
  2. BULK FERMENTATION: 2 hours.
  3. FOLDING: Fold the dough once, after 1 hour of fermentation.
  4. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide the dough into appropriate-sized pieces. For pullman pans that measure 13 by 3¾ by 3¾ inches, the dough weight is 2.25 pounds. Oil the pans and lids. Preshape round or into blunt cylinders and let rest on an unfloured work surface, covered with plastic. After 10 to 15 minutes, when the dough is sufficiently relaxed, shape the loaves into long cylinders with no tapers at the ends. Place in the pullman pans; the dough should come about halfway up the sides. Slide the lids on and proof the loaves at about 76°F.
  5. FINAL FERMENTATION: 1 to 1½ hours at about 76°F.
  6. BAKING: When the dough is about ½ inch from the top of the pan, check that the lids are fully closed and load the bread into a 400°F oven. Since the pans are covered, there is no need to steam the oven. Bake the 2.25-pound loaves for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove a loaf from the oven to check doneness: The bread should have an even golden color all around, and the crust should be evenly firm. Remove the breads from the pans as soon as they are unloaded. If the loaves remain in the pans, they will sweat from condensation.