Julia Child's Pain de Mie Recipe

The document included in the Recipes By Mail subscription is a replica of Julia Child's personal recipe for Pain de Mie. Therefore, the recipe leaves out several key details since she was already familiar with them. Below we have included a full set of directions, which have been adapted from Julia Child's cookbook: From Julia Child's Kitchen.


  • 2 12cups water (105-115 F)
  • tablespoon active dry yeast
  • tablespoon sugar
  • cups bread flour all-purpose flour
  • tablespoon salt
  • 14 - 1cup unsalted butter, softened


  • Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a bowl and mix with yeast and sugar until foamy.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy.
  • Put the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, and 3 1/2 cups of the flour into the mixer with the dough hook.
  • Mix slowly until blended then add the rest of the flour.
  • Increase speed and scrape down the sides until the dough comes together.
  • (If it doesn't add a tbsp of flour at a time until it does.) Add salt and mix at medium speed for 10 minutes (or do half in mixer and half kneading) until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Back in mixer add butter 1 tbsp at a time (dough may come apart, but mixing will pull it back together).
  • Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball then place in a large buttered or oiled bowl.
  • Turn dough so it is completely coated in the fat, then cover in plastic for 45 minutes to an hour, til it has doubled in size at room temperature.
  • Butter 2 loaf pans.
  • Deflate the dough, cut in half and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll out into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  • With the short end facing you, fold the dough into thirds like a sheet of paper to go into an envelope, creating a roll.
  • Pinch the seam closed, and pinch the ends enough so it will fit in the loaf pan.
  • Drop in the loaf pan seam side down, and repeat.
  • Cover the loaves with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place (80°F) for 45 minutes, until they double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and put the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes til they are honey brown.
  • Immediately turn out of pans onto a rack to cool.
  • Once almost completely cool, they can be cut.
  • Store in a brown paper bag for a day or two.
  • Once cut, turn cut side down onto a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel.

When it comes to the world of gastronomy, few names evoke as much reverence as Julia Child. Her passion for French cuisine and her ability to demystify complex recipes made her an iconic figure in the culinary realm. In this blog post, we delve into the lesser-known territory of Julia Child's Pain de Mie recipe—a classic French bread that captures the essence of her culinary expertise. Join us as we explore the secrets behind this delightful bread, unravel some trivia about its creation, and embark on a journey to the heart of French baking.

The Origins of Pain de Mie
Pain de Mie, meaning "bread of the crumb" in French, is a type of soft, sliced bread traditionally baked in a lidded loaf pan. Its origins can be traced back to early 20th-century France, where it gained popularity due to its square shape and uniform slices, making it ideal for sandwiches and toasting.

Julia Child's Fascination with Pain de Mie
Julia Child, famous for bringing French cuisine to American households through her groundbreaking cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," was captivated by the art of bread-making. While she is often associated with her elaborate recipes, her Pain de Mie recipe showcased her appreciation for simple, yet sophisticated, culinary pleasures.

Trivia behind Julia Child's Pain de Mie Recipe
a) The Importance of Technique: Julia Child was meticulous in her approach to cooking, emphasizing the significance of technique. Her Pain de Mie recipe highlights this attention to detail, ensuring that the bread's crumb texture and crust color are perfectly balanced.

b) The Secret Ingredient: Milk and Butter: Julia Child's Pain de Mie recipe features the addition of milk and butter, resulting in a soft, tender crumb and a rich, buttery flavor. This combination adds a luxurious touch to the bread, setting it apart from traditional baguettes or rustic loaves.

c) The Lidded Loaf Pan: One of the distinctive features of Pain de Mie is its rectangular shape and fine, compact crumb. This is achieved by using a lidded loaf pan, which traps steam during baking, resulting in a soft, evenly baked bread with a delicate crust.
Julia Child's Pain de Mie Recipe: A Journey to French Baking Excellence

Now, let's uncover the secrets of Julia Child's Pain de Mie recipe, allowing us to experience the true essence of French baking in our own homes. See the recipe above.

Julia Child's Pain de Mie recipe encapsulates her dedication to culinary excellence and her passion for sharing the joys of French cuisine. As we embrace the art of bread-making and explore the subtleties of this lesser-known gem, we pay homage to her remarkable legacy. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey to the heart of French baking as you create your own delectable Pain de Mie, guided by the wisdom of Julia Child.