A couple months ago I bought a pullman pan.
Since then I've been on a quest for the perfect 100% whole wheat pullman recipe. Pullman pans are simple. For a 13 inch pan you need a 3 pound dough recipe. Simple. If you're doing a white loaf. Whole wheat bread usually is cut with 1/2 white flour, or there are additional weird ingredients like dehydrated potato flakes, nonfat milk solids, gluten, etc. Whole wheat flour doesn't rise very well because the wheat cuts through the gluten, which is why all the extra stuff. I don't want the extra stuff in my sandwich loaf. I played with a few recipes and had the expected rising issues, but also they were dry, and didn't have a good texture (crumb). I finally tried a recipe from this book:
Finally found the perfect 100% whole wheat pullman sandwich loaf. Soft texture, moist, with a perfect crust. And no weird ingredients.
The recipe is the 100% whole wheat honey loaf on page 10
* The amounts have been changed to 1.5 the books listed recipe to fill a 13 in pullman pan. Also the book gives you several options of how to mix the dough (mixer, food processor, bread machine). I always use a mixer so this is the method I'll be showing you how to do.
2 cups whole milk
4 1/2 Tbs Honey
3 Tbs Butter, softened
3 tsp. Salt
3 cups Whole wheat flour
3 cups Whole wheat bread flour
3 tsp. Active dry yeast
Step 1: Mixing and fermenting
Heat the milk slightly (about 105 degrees). Pour into the bowl of a mixer and add the honey and yeast. Let it stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast bubbles. Add the butter, salt, whole wheat flour, and 1/2 the bread flour. Mix until combined. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Add in the remaining bread flour and with a mixer fitted with a dough arm knead the dough on medium speed until the dough is smooth and springy. (about 10 min)
Cover the bowl and let double in volume (about 1 hour).
Step 2: Shaping
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board. Punch the dough down and roll into a rectangle the length of the pan.
Fold the top of the rectangle toward the center, press to seal the edge.
Fold the bottom of the rectangle to the top to make a cylinder.
Lightly grease the pullman pan and place the dough in the pan seam side down and cover with the lid. Let the dough rise until its about 1 inch away from the top of the pan.
Bake at 400 degrees with the lid on for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and cooked through. Immediately turn the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let cool thoroughly.
Since there's only 2 in our house there is no way we would ever finish this whole loaf in a reasonable amount of time. This loaf freezes well. I cut it in half and wrap it in plastic wrap then put it in a freezer ziplock bag. Just pull it out of the freezer when you need it and it will thaw pretty quickly. It will still be nice and soft and moist with no staling.