Pullman pans are just fun to use, and they make for a pretty impressive loaf when you bring one to the table. The pan is nearly twice as long as a normal pan, slightly narrower with taller very straight sides. It makes great sandwich bread and toast with the nice uniform shape.
You can also get a lid for it, making Texas Toast, or any squared off bread you want. Using a lid will slightly compress the bubbling at the top of the bread, but if you have proofed it well enough the consistency will be just fine.
Whole wheat, WW, will typically make a more dense bread, or ‘hearty’ as the nicest term goes. The ratio of WW to white flour is the most impactful aspect of the density. Second is the amount of sugars used. Then there are some techniques that can help, among other factors.
We’ve used a sponge in this series exploring bread. This time we will use it with the wheat flour. This will give it even more time to soften up and release glutens. We also used WW bread flour which pushes up the glutens as well.
Long Loaf of Whole Wheat recipe
In your mixing bowl;
- 2 cups very water
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
Let cool until just warm, about 100 degrees. Stir in one packet, or two teaspoons, instant yeast. Let sit for two hours creating your sponge.
Add to sponge;
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Knead with dough hook 2-5 minutes (depending on the hook style) until the dough is pulled away from the sides. It’s always a good idea to give it a few turns on the board to insure it is smooth enough. So transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured counter or board. Knead a few moments until elastic and smooth. Shape into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, then turn over so that the top has a light oil coating.
Let rise for 90-120 minutes, until dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, let rest 10 minutes. Lightly oil the Pullman pan, usually a spray spread thoroughly with a paper towel is perfect. Put the dough on a lightly floured counter or board and shape into one long even cylindrical shape. Place it in the pan and let rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a razor or sharp knife to make a shallow cut the length of the loaf (or make angled cuts across the loaf every couple inches). Bake until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the pan, or the internal temperature has gotten above 190 degrees, about 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes then remove from the pan. The loaf should just slide from the pan onto its side on a counter, then you can put it on a rack to cool for at least 10 more minutes before slicing.