Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Bee Keeper's Pain de Mie #BBB

June is Pollinator month, and what better bread to bake than one infused with honey and delicately scented with a subtle floral tea? 

Bumblebee on lupine
Bumblebee on lupine

Plants for pollinators
Catmint, columbine, English and French lavender

No worries on this bread tasting like flowers, the very subtle floral notes just add a little je ne sais quoi that is completely delightful.  There are a number of options for this loaf, either a straight dough method with no pre-ferment, or a longer method with even more flavor and keeping quality.  I did choose the straight method from King Arthur this time, but absolutely had to incorporate the floral tea from the original method that was left out of the KA version.  For my floral tea, I brewed a mug with one bag of Tazo chamomile tea with rose, and an infuser with ½ tbsp of dried lavender buds for 5 minutes, then measured out the amount of that water that I needed.  My youngest kiddo happily drank the rest, she loves teas, and tried it as her very first milk tea.  The dough smelled beautiful, the bread smelled beautiful, and when toasted the next day, the whole kitchen smelled amazing!  Such a wonderful bread, we will definitely make it again.

This is a fantastic bread to try out, not very difficult, and you can make it as a regular loaf if you don't have a pullman pan with a lid.  It is also possible to stick a baking sheet with a heavy cast iron pan on other oven safe heavy item on top of a regular loaf pan to try for the square loaf shape.  I have been wanting a pullman pan for years, so I picked one up!  I highly recommend giving the loaf a try, we'd love for you to join us this month but it's so good, bookmark it for later anyway!  No blog is necessary to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to our host kitchen by the 30th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Bee Keeper’s Pain de Mie
makes one 13x5-inch loaf or two 9x4-inch

Option #1: Adapted from the Bee Keeper’s Pain de Mie on the KAF site

Makes: one 13X5 pullman-size loaf and utilizes the straight dough method (meaning it doesn’t have an overnight preferment)

Ingredients: (Tanna’s adaptation)
200 g white whole wheat flour (I used sprouted spelt, freshly milled)
500 g All-Purpose Flour
25 g wheat bran (I used the bran sifted from the spelt, milled a little more finely)
2½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
227 g (227ml) lukewarm water
½ cup (113g) milk, at room temperature
3 tbsp (64g) honey
7 tbsp (99g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Directions: Follow the instructions found on the KAF web page.

I followed the basic directions on the KAF site, substituting the brewed tea for the water.  A half batch is just barely enough for the 9x4-inch pullman.  It did take some time for the dough to rise enough to fill where it was supposed to go.  A little more dough would probably have resulted in a tighter crumb, but we are totally not complaining, this was still wonderful bread.  I might make a full batch and use a little more in the pan and have an extra little loaf next time.  (Yes, Aparna scaled back by only a third and ended up with a perfect loaf for the 9x4 pan!)

Option #2: Adapted from Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes by Martin Philip

Makes: two 9X5 pullman loaves (divide in half for one smaller pullman loaf) or make one 13×5 pullman loaf and one very small loaf)

410 g durum flour
410 g AP flour
352 g water
172 g wildflower tea (lavender)
17 g salt, fine
16 g yeast
123 g butter

410 g AP flour
246 g water
pinch yeast

170 g milk
35 g honey
4 g lavender
2 g chamomile flowers

172 grams wildflower tea
656 grams Biga (all above)
106 grams water
35 grams Honey
410 grams Durum flour or Bread flour
123 grams butter
17 grams salt, fine
16 grams instant dried yeast


Combine the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Add tepid water (75-80°F). Mix briefly, then knead until a smooth dough forms.
Cover and set at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, it may only take 8-10 hours.

Combine milk, honey in a small pot.
Over low heat, warm the mixture so the honey mixes into the milk.
When there are small bubbles around the edges add the chamomile and lavender if using.
Turn off the heat.
Cover and allow to set at room temperature 12 to 16 hours.
Strain before using.
Warm the tea to 80° when ready to use.

Ending desired dough temperature: 80°.
Combine strained Tea, all the BIGA and the water (I added the milk and honey here).
Mix until the biga is broken up.
Add very soft butter, flour, salt and yeast.
Stir until the dough forms a shaggy mass.
Resist the urge to add more flour.

Cover and allow to rise for about 90 minutes.

Fold after 30 and 60 minutes; then leave untouched until divide.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces which will weight approximately 750 grams each. If you are making the larger (13×5-inch) pullman-size loaf, you will need approximately 1150 grams of dough. You will have about 350 grams left over for a smaller loaf.
Preshape as tubes. Cover and rest 15 minutes.

Grease two loaf pans, two 9×5 inch pullman pans or one 13×5 inch pullman pan and a smaller loaf pan.
Shape as pan loaves.
With the long side facing you, fold the bottom third of the dough up to the center and the top third over (like a business letter). Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand.
Place in pans seam side down. Press dough into pans to evenly fill to all corners.

For loaf pans: Cover and proof until dough is about 1 to 1.5 inches above top of pan: about 60 – 90 minutes.
For pullman pans: Place the dough seam-down into the pan, and press it evenly into the corners. Put the lid on the pan and close all but an inch or so in order to monitor the loaf as it rises.
Allow the dough to rise until it’s just below the lip of the pan, 60 to 90 minutes. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, it may take less than 90 minutes for this proof. It only took my loaf about 45 minutes.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Close the lid of the pan completely, and put the pan in the oven.
Bake the bread for 20 then remove the lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. The loaf should be a deep golden brown on all sides. Adjust the baking time if you are making the extra small loaf.
Remove the loaf from the oven and, after 5 minutes, turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. Do not allow to cool in the pan as that will result in a soggy crust.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


  1. I love the sprouted spelt in your loaf. Your crumb is perfection!

    1. It was so light, we really liked it, but next time I would use a little more than the half batch I did for my small pullman, to make sure it can more easily fill the pan!

  2. Spelt! Gadfry! I must try it with spelt! Yours is such a grand loaf, and the crumb looks lovely to me. I love when your kiddos enjoy your baking ... every mother rejoices! And wow your lavender is gorgeous.

    1. I love my spelt and kamut! And I do have a bunch of lavender, including some adorable French red lavender this year, but the picture with the bumblebee is lupine. ;) I should add a caption!

  3. A great shape, both chamomile and lavender, and two forms of spelt...a creative and beautiful loaf!

    1. I was lucky I had the tea, my dried chamomile had gotten too old and stale and I had tossed it out a few months ago! I need to pick up some durum wheat to try out soon.

  4. I almost included a photo of my lavender with a bee on it as well, but I changed my mind. Your photo looks fab! I love that you used spelt in this loaf. I bet the flavor was great!

    1. I do need to go take pictures of the lavender! I trimmed some, pulled out one that was just too leggy, and got FOUR more! ☺

    2. Cathy is right. You DO need to take photos of your lavender, Kelly! I'm so envious that you have it in your garden. I've tried for a number of years to grow it and it has never managed to overwinter (indoors OR out).

      Even though I'm not wild about the taste of lavender, I love the smell as I brush by it in the garden!

    3. Okay, I took some pictures! I would go for an English lavender or cold hardy variety like hidcote, munstead or phenomenal - those go down to zone 4 and possibly zone 3 with snow protection. We rarely get into the low the 20's and almost never the teens. (ºF) If you want something the bees will love, go for catmint, that is also hardy to zone 4 and constantly full of bumbles. It's the top left picture in the collage. Nepeta, catmint, not catnip. Just beautiful, but not really fragrant like lavender. It does have a mild fragrance when rubbed. I almost prefer it to lavender because it just needs to be whacked completely back at the end of the season, not judiciously pruned like lavender. My variety is super tall, but you can get shorter habits.

  5. What a beautiful bread.... and your infusion sounds lovely, too - lucky daughter!

    1. It thrills me that she loves tea so much! And not sweet tea, she puts just a drop of honey in her teas. She got a giant box of fruit tea blends for Christmas, plus another variety box of herbals to try, plus a local blend from Nana's town. But she had never had milk tea before. My English great grandmother will be smiling down on us now that we have remedied that situation. ♥

  6. I did not know that June was officially "Pollinator Month". But of course it makes sense with the bees going crazy after such a long period without flowers, into one with zillions of flowers. I really like that photo you took of the bee on the pink flower (lupin??)

    Your bread looks wonderful. And I know what you mean about that "little je ne sais quoi" that the floral tea adds. I'm so glad you convinced me to try it! That aspect of the recipe (actually the whole recipe) is definitely a keeper.

    1. Yep, lupine! So glad you took the plunge with the tea, I know you approached it with great trepidation!

  7. Pollinator month? That's new to me but the bread was certainly apt for it. You have a really lovely loaf.

  8. amazing! i love your loaf! looks yummy! i want to share my recipe too just click this link 강북오피【bamclick1。com】◈밤클릭◈ ⟐강북마사지⟐강북안마⟐강북유흥⟐강북휴게텔⟐강북풀싸롱⟐강북키스방⟐강북건마⟐강북리얼돌⟐강북출장안마⟐강북룸싸롱⟐강북OP


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.