Pain de Mie Unity Bread

Chef Dominique Crenn

This recipe comes from Michelin three-starred Chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Thanks to our partners at Miyoko’s Creamery, 100% of the proceeds go directly to World Central Kitchen and their efforts to distribute fresh meals across Ukraine and at border crossings. As a thank you for your donation, you’ll receive the ingredients to bake your own loaf of Chef Crenn’s pillowy pain de mie.



  • Stand Mixer with Bread Hook Attachment
  • Spatula
  • Cooking Spray
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Kitchen Towel
  • 8 ½ or 9-inch Loaf Pan
  • Pastry or Basting Brush
  • Food Thermometer (optional)
  • Cooling Rack


  • 153g (⅔ cup) Whole Milk
  • 83g (2 Whole Eggs), beaten then measured, plus an extra egg for egg wash
  • 63g (¼ cup + ½ teaspoon) Crème Fraîche or Sour Cream
  • 8g (2 ¼ teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 400g (2 ½ Cups + 2 Tablespoons) Bread Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 8g (1 ½ teaspoons) Fine Sea Salt
  • 32g (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) Granulated Sugar
  • 52g (4 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened


    1. Note: this entire process from start to finish takes about 3 hours total to complete (most of that is allowing the dough to proof), so make sure you have set aside enough time to make your bread!
    2. Make sure you have all of your ingredients laid out and that your butter is softened and at room temperature. Separate out 2 Tablespoons of the bread flour to use for dusting your table for kneading the dough. Into the bowl of a stand mixer add the milk, egg, crème fraîche, and yeast. Gently add in your bread flour, with a spatula, or your hands, and begin to gently combine the ingredients together.
    3. Put the bowl onto your stand mixer with the bread hook attachment and mix on the lowest speed until the dough starts to come together, and then after about 30 seconds, add your salt and sugar. Once those are incorporated, add in your butter. After about 4-5 minutes of mixing, your dough should start to look like a soft, springy dough. Make sure there are no clumps of any ingredients.
    4. Once the ingredients have been fully incorporated, and the dough is springy, soft, and slightly sticky, take it out of the bowl and put it onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead the dough by rolling it into a loose, plump log and pushing it towards you then pulling it back with the heel of your hand. Then fold one side into the middle, then the other side, rotate it 90 degrees and knead the log the same way again. Then shape it into a ball. Grease a large mixing bowl and transfer your dough into it, covering it with a kitchen towel. Let it proof for 30 minutes (it will proof two times after this!) in a warm area of your kitchen, such as on top of your fridge or on your oven, which will preferably be around 75°F-80°F.
    5. After the first proof, take the dough out of the bowl and do the folding method again, folding one side into the middle, then the other side on top, then rolling it back into a ball. Put it back into your greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and proof for an additional 30 minutes in a warm area of your kitchen.
    6. Once the second proof is done, spray a loaf pan with cooking spray then roll your proofed bread into a log to fit into your pan. Cover it with a kitchen towel and proof for one hour back in that warm area of your kitchen. About 10-15 minutes before it’s done proofing, preheat your oven to 375°F.
    7. To make the egg wash, whisk an egg in a small bowl. After the final proof, brush the top of the bread with a thin layer of egg wash with a basting or pastry brush. Put the bread into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a food thermometer comes out at 195°F.
    8. Once it’s out of the oven, carefully unmold the bread from the pan and let it rest on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.
    9. Slice and enjoy your Unity Bread! (Chef recommends smearing soft butter or Miyoko’s Vegan butter on a slice and then drizzling warm chocolate on top to taste)

About the Chef

Dominique  Crenn smiling right at you

Chef Dominique Crenn

Chef Dominique Crenn and World Chef are partners on the Chefs for Unity Ukrainian Relief project benefitting José Andrés and his non-profit World Central Kitchen. Dominique Crenn is the co-owner and chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, where artistry is at the forefront, cuisine is a craft, and the community is an inspiration. “Atelier” can be defined as a workshop or studio, a concept that drives Chef Crenn’s modern vision for fine French cuisine. Her highly distinctive French heritage and imaginative gastronomic lair behind the stove at Atelier Crenn is a clear reflection of her unique life story. In November 2018, Crenn became the first female chef in the US to receive three Michelin Stars. In 2021, Crenn was the recipient of the World's 50 Best Icon Award.