French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

Monday 24 October 2022


French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

This bread machine recipe I am sharing with you today is for a French Sandwich Pain Au Lait.  Pain Au Lait translated means milk bread, and what I am talking about here is a French style of loaf that has been enriched with milk and butter.

Golden brown on the outside with a beautiful tight texture, this is a bread that is perfect for making sandwiches, be they grilled or not! 

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

A slow rising bread, this bread rises dramatically when baking.  Traditionally this type of bread is baked in a lidded loaf pan to make perfectly square loaves.

Baking this in the bread machine provides almost the same result, as you can see.  It is a beautiful loaf and is perfect for sandwiches of any kind.

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

Actually, this is the fourth time I have baked this loaf to show you. The first time I ran out of light on the first day and so pictures just never got taken.  It was so good I knew I wanted to share it with you.

The second time I made it, I threw everything into the bread machine and went to church, only to discover when I got home that I had not put in the water. DUH!

The third time, I used the wrong yeast and the bread rose so much that it stuck to the roof of my bread maker. 😖

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

It's just an amazing loaf however and so I have persevered in baking it so that I could share with you the perfect loaf! I've made all the mistakes so you don't have to! lol

Seriously though, this is a beautiful loaf of bread, and well worth any angst or number of mistakes made in getting to the perfect loaf just so that I can share it with you.

Of all the loaves I have made in my bread machine, it IS my favorite one!  Perfect for grilled sandwiches, or cut into shapes to make tea sandwiches, it is light, but has a truly beautiful crumb which makes it ideal for those purposes! 

My recipe has been adapted from the Bread Machine Lover's Bread Machine Book by Beth Hensperger and if you are a person who loves to use their bread machine, I cannot recommend it enough. It's the best bread machine book going!

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 


This time I did not use a mix of flours as set out in the recipe but just my Anita's Organic Mill 60/40 bakers blend flour. It turned out perfectly.  (This is because I could not find barley flour.)

  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
  • 5 TBS butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 7/8 cups (390g) bread flour
  • 1/8 cup (30g) barley flour
  • 1/3 cup (80g) dry milk powder
  • 1 TBS vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

As I said I used the 60/40 flour, and it worked a charm.  Barley flour adds a touch of sweetness to the bread, but I found the flavor to be fine just as is.  As you can tell it was a bit more on the whole wheat side.

That also didn't bother me as I prefer to eat a whole meal bread if I can, rather than a white.

Also, the dry milk powder, she had specified low fat milk powder, but all I have is full fat milk powder. I have used this with no problem whatsoever.

My bread machine is the Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker Model# SD-RD250.   This is the bread machine I have been using for over 20 years. I went through two of them in the UK, and when I went to buy one here in Canada, I knew I had to get another one. I have just always been happy with their performance.

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 


Really if you follow the directions on your particular bread machine your bread should work out perfectly, but there are a few things you can do that will give you an even better loaf of bread.

1. Measure by weight and not volume.  Weight is a much more precise way to measure. You can't go wrong.  I have a set of digital scales that I use. I just pop the bread pan onto them and measure away. My scales measure in grams, Kg, pounds and ounces, milliliters, etc. I started baking by weight when I lived in the UK, and I would now never bake any other way. It's simply the most precise and accurate way to bake.

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

2.  Bread machine loaves work best with bread flour.  Bread flour can also be labeled "Best for Bread" or "High Gluten flour."  

3. You can use regular flour, but if you do I recommend adding Vital Wheat Gluten to the recipe. This helps to boost the protein content of the bread.

4. Measure very carefully.  If you don't add enough flour, no matter the type of flour you use, the bread will collapse and is often uncooked in the center.  If you add too much flour, you will end up with a dense, hard heavy ball.

5.  I add Vital Wheat Gluten to all of my recipes for bread making in a bread machine. You can purchase it online.  It helps to yield a much better loaf, helping the loaf to rise higher with a nicer texture than without.  

Vital wheat gluten is best stored in the refrigerator (for up to one year), but you can store it on the counter if you think you will use it up within two months (highly unlikely for the home baker.)

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

6. Yeast is a vital component in making yeasted breads! Duh. It can come in many forms. I recommend using yeast which is prepared specifically for use in the bread machine. I store my yeast in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

7. Salt is another important component in bread making. Do not however, let the salt touch the yeast.  Salt is important in bread making, not only as a flavor enhancer, but also in controlling the level of yeast fermentation.

8. Follow the recommendations when it comes to the order of adding ingredients to your machine. There are reasons why some machines put the dry ingredients first and the wet last.    Others might recommend putting in the wet first and the dry last. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THE EXACT ORDER AS RECOMMENDED BY YOUR PARTICULAR MODEL!!

Most of the time when a recipe fails it is because the baker fails to follow the correct directions as per the machine they are using.

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait 

If you follow my recommendations, there really is no reason (other than human error) that you can't bake the best loaf of bread in your bread machine ever.  I use mine at least once a week, sometimes twice and most of the time I end up with beautiful loaves, unless I use the wrong yeast or forget to put in the water, lol. 😁

Some other bread machine recipes I can recommend are:

BREAD MACHINE PARKER HOUSE ROLLS - Think you can't make rolls using a bread machine?  Think again!  This recipe uses the dough cycle for making the dough. The rolls are then shaped and baked in the traditional manner.

BUTTERMILK WHOLE WHEAT BREADWith a mixture of both whole wheat and white bread flours, and sweetened with maple syrup, and then not forgetting the addition of the buttermilk, it makes for a really delicious wholesome loaf of bread! 

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

Yield 1 loaf (1 1/2-pound loaf)
Author Marie Rayner
A delicious bread machine loaf made in the style of the white French sandwich bread called pain de mie. This bread makes beautiful sandwiches, toasted or otherwise.


  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
  • 5 TBS butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 7/8 cups (390g) bread flour
  • 1/8 cup (30g) barley flour
  • 1/3 cup (80g) dry milk powder
  • 1 TBS vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast


  1. Place all of your ingredients into your particular model of bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Take care not to let the salt come in contact with the yeast. (In mine, I place yeast, sugar, gluten powder, flour, dry milk powder, salt, butter and then the water.)
  2. Set crust on medium and program for the basic cycle. Press start.
  3. When the baking cycle has ended, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing. Store in an airtight bag or container.
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French Sandwich Pain Au Lait

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  1. Your bread looks absolutely delicious and perfect! And your presentation is beautiful! I use the dough cycle on my bread machine and then shape and bake it. Almost always homemade bread used in this household. :-)

    1. Thanks very much Elaine! It's almost always homemade bread in my house also! This is a really lovely loaf! xo

  2. That last comment (Anonymous) was me--Elaine in KY.

  3. Just read the, blog but can’t comment. The appliance technician told me to use the self cleaning cycle very rarely as it burns out the computer components. The racks lose their shine but nobody looks in the oven except you so no big deal.

    1. Thanks! I have only ever used it this once. I probably will never use it again! xo


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