1 1/2 pounds (about 4/12 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
3 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
Vegetable oil, for oiling the bowl and pan
In the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, dry milk, and butter. Add the warm water and beat on low speed until the dough is smooth, elastic and uniform. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured working surface, turn out the dough and knead by hand about five times. Check to see that all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated and the dough forms a smooth ball. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with cling wrap. Let it rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. If the temperature is correct, this should take about 1 hour. If your house is cold during winter, turn an oven on to about 250 F, then turn it off. Open the oven door to let most of the heat out and place your dough inside the warm oven for the entire rising time.
After the initial one hour rising, punch and deflate the dough. Tug on the sides a little and invert the dough in the bowl so that the dough's smooth side is facing up. Cover with plastic wrap again, and let it rise until it has doubled in size. This will take another 1 hour.
Brush the inside of a standard size Pullman loaf pan with vegetable oil. Make sure that all the surface is coated as well as the underside of the lid. Turn the dough on a floured surface, and roll out the dough to a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Roll the dough on the long side to form a tight 12 inch log. Gently rock the dough back and forth to seal the seam. Place the loaf, seam-side down, in the prepared pan, and slide the lid until it is 3/4 of the way closed. Let it rise again in a warm place until the dough is almost touching the lid. This will take about 45 to 60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 F.
Close the lid completely and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is light golden brown. This should take about 45 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F, close the lid and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. (The bread should have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. If it does not sound hollow, slide the lid back on and continue to bake the loaf, checking at 5 minute intervals until the crust is deep golden brown). Remove the bread and let it cool completely.
If you are looking for a good quality pain de mie pullman loaf pan, you can find some available at our store. The one used in this recipe is a standard size, but we also carry a smaller 4.5 inch bread pan. You can still follow this recipe, but cut the dough in half to put each portion into two smaller pans.