The Le Pain Quotidien Coffee Experience

Traditionally, the coffee experience at Le Pain Quotidien has focused on two key elements:

  1. We serve an excellent product consistently.
  2. We create an inviting and friendly experience.

Our teams have outdone themselves on the experience side and now, we’re doing our part to bring you an improved product that meets the high flavor and quality standards we set for ourselves. In the journey to cultivate our own proprietary blend of coffee, we have decided to make a temporary, flavorful transition from the beans we currently use.

We are proud to introduce to you our three new locally produced blends. Beginning this month, we will be serving FLATIRON for our espresso and JUMPSTART for our brewed coffee. We will also be serving a DECAF. Though this coffee is not certified organic, it is derived from high quality arabica beans that are organically farmed.
Our FLATIRON blend is sweet, velvety and rich with chocolate, a balanced espresso that hails from Brazil and Colombia. It shines in milk-based drinks, but it’s always the star of the show. We have full confidence this blend is approachable and and has a nice body, even without anything added to your cup.

Our JUMPSTART is a blend of Latin American coffees with rich flavor. Full bodied with a caramel sweetness and notes of Jordan almond and poached pear, this blend is an excellent introduction into the world of specialty coffee. Jumpstart is full-bodied, smooth and rounded and holds up beautifully with milk.

Our new blends are fresh, ethically sourced, expertly roasted and well-balanced. This is the first step in building and developing a coffee experience that we believe in. We hope you’ll notice a strong new flavor profile and we look forward to hearing what you think.

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Plant Love This Summer

Fifty years ago, through their beliefs in the power of love, peace and music, 500,000 people at Woodstock changed the way an entire generation viewed the world and their ability to make a difference for good.

We celebrate the same ‘for the people, for the planet’ spirit every day, and we’d like to invite you to plant (noun) love with our new Summer menu and to plant (verb) love with us in your communities. Join the Plant Love movement and make a difference for the planet by coming together in the spirit of cooperation and positivity to help define a generation again.

We are thrilled to serve our Summer menu in our communities. Each dish celebrates the power of plants and the flavors of the season.

Good Karma Watermelon and Feta Salad

This salad is filled with summer ingredients including roasted Portobello mushrooms, quinoa taboule, avocado with mesclun and vinaigrette. This salad will make you feel good inside and out because for every Good Karma Watermelon and Feta Salad purchased, we will be planting a tree with the National Forest Foundation. The National Forest Foundation has a goal of planting 50 million trees by 2023.

Help be part of the movement by enjoying this salad or donating directly at https://www.nationalforests.org/.

karma salad karma salad

Flower Power Bowl

We are serving up our vegan Flower Power Bowl with coconut yogurt, flowerola, cashew butter, watermelon, pineapple and blueberries. Flowerola is a combination of puffed brown rice, crunchy rice cakes and lavender from Provenance. Flowerola is high in anti-oxidants, fiber and proteins plus adds a beautiful purple topping to this delicious dish.

Flowerola salad Flowerola Salad

Strawberry Toast Forever

A combination of flavors you will crave all summer long, our new vegan Strawberry Toast Forever starts with organic supersede bread then topped with cashew butter, strawberries, poppyseeds, agave, mint and lemon. Poppyseeds are fitting in our Flower Power theme this summer. Poppyseeds are an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy. They can aid digestion and improve cognitive functioning.

Strawberry Toast Strawberry Toast

Far Out Hemp Pesto Bowl

This vegetarian dish is mozzarella di Bufala, heirloom tomato, cucumber, spring greens and croutons with hemp pesto and vinaigrette. Our pesto is made from Hemp seeds, a superfood rich in protein, fiber, Omega-3s and Omega-6s known for its oxidant properties. Nothing says summer like heirloom tomatoes and in this dish you’ll find them in a variety of colors for that perfect photo.

Mozzarella Summer Salad Mozarella salad

Portobello Shroom & Turmeric Hummus Tartine

A Belgian open-faced sandwich on our organic whole wheat sourdough bread topped with turmeric ginger hummus, Portobello mushroom, heirloom tomato, cucumber, parsley and cilantro.
Portobellos are known as ‘Medicinal Mushrooms’ for their ability to protect the immune system.
Paired with turmeric and ginger, your immune system will be ready for anything!

Summer tartines from the LPQ Flower Power Summer menu Summer tartines

New Bakery Dishes

In addition to entrees, you’ll also see flower power themed bakery offerings on our counter all summer long.
New additions include the Hibiscus Croissant, Lemon Poppyseed Twist, Lemon and Poppyseed Muffin, Apricot Tart and Strawberry Tart.

Poppy Seed Twist pastry Poppy Seed Twist Pastry

Drinks you can feel good about

Wash down our Plant Love dishes with a refreshing new beverage. New offerings include our Watermelon Cooler (cold-pressed watermelon, orange and lemon juice with agave), Organic Kombucha (yerba mate, turmeric, pineapple and coconut), Essential Green Juice (kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, romaine, lime and parsley).

Stop in and try our new dishes all summer long. Be sure to tag your photos with #LPQPlantLove.

Green juice Green juice

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Welcome Spring With Fresh, Flavorsome Specials

As Spring melts away what’s left of winter, we welcome back green plants, blue skies and an extra hour of sunlight. Our favorite season inspires us to pour the love we feel from the Earth into our dishes (hello superfoods!). We take pleasure in creating plant-inspired creations for your families and ours, to not only enjoy, but live a nourishing life with.

Crispy Quinoa Cake

Quinoa is a tiny, nutrient-dense “superseed,” rich in magnesium and lysine, both essential nutrients for tissue growth and repair. Get your daily dose in this returning guest favorite, served with creamy beetroot hummus, tender arugula and chickpea salad!

Crispy Quinoa Cake Crispy Quinoa Cake

Salmon & Ricotta Tartine

The flavors of spring come together in this fresh, new tartine on our superseed bread. Smooth ricotta makes the perfect canvas for tender smoked salmon, delicate microgreens and salty capers. Fresh and tangy lemon brings the flavors together, making this tartine our go-to for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

salmon ricotta tartine salmon ricotta tartine

Tuna Niçoise Tartine 

We’ve channeled the flavors of the classic Niçoise salad from Nice, France, with innovation and sustainability in mind. We use pole-caught, hand-packed white tuna from Spain. Why pole-caught, you ask? This age-old technique of selective fishing respects the environment and protects marine reserves by catching fish on-by-one, avoiding unwanted fish being discarded. The “belly fillets” we use are the most tender and delicate parts of the white tuna, with a subtle yet rich flavor. Top with an organic hard-boiled egg, capers, fresh herbs and basil oil et, voilà!

Tuna Nicoise Tartine Tuna Nicoise Tartine

Avocado & Superseed Salad

This power-packed salad brings you the balance your body has been craving. Our delightful blend of sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia seeds are packed with impressive amounts of protein and fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and boost immunity. Better yet, these mighty seeds deliver a satisfying crunch with every bite. With spring greens, zucchini, fennel and blueberries and a drizzle of our basil oil vinaigrette, this salad will solve all of your what-to-eat-for-lunch questions.

avocado seed salad avocado seed salad

Beetroot & Hummus Tartine

Our newest vegan tartine is deeply satisfying thanks to silky beetroot hummus, antioxidant-rich (and detoxifying!) beets, fresh tomato-salsa and hearty chickpea salad. Finished with a squeeze of tangy lemon, this bright tartine will be your new plant-based lunch. Spring, is that you?

Beet and chicpea tartine Beet and Chicpea Tartine

Carrot Walnut Muffin

Crunchy walnuts, Vitamin A-packed carrot and juicy raisins make our newest sweet vegan treat heart-healthy and 100% irresistible. Ginger and cinnamon give it a kick of spice to get you going in the morning, or to pick you up in the afternoon!

Carrot muffin Carrot muffin

Berry Pavlova

Lo and behold the delicious Pavlova, which gets its name from the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Story has it, a diner declared this meringue-based treat to be “light as Pavlova,” and the name stuck! Ours has a traditional crisp crust, soft, pillowy inside and fresh whipped cream and berries on top.

mixed berry tart mixed berry tart

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Weigh Your Ingredients to Bake Like a Pro

With the holiday season in full swing, baking aficionados and novices all over are beginning to fire up their ovens. Whether you’re planning to bake a seasonal cookie or a specialty bread, we have a baking tip for you that is sure to improve your baking experience!

When it comes to cooking, precision doesn’t always matter. In fact, sometimes your own personal interpretation of a recipe is what makes a good recipe great. But when it comes to baking, the fate of your baked goods hangs in the balance without properly measured ingredients. A little too much flour can be enough to make your fluffy bread tough.

At Le Pain Quotidien, we never use volumetric measurements when we bake, weighing our ingredients instead. This important technique is something we emphasize in all of our bread baking classes. That means no cups, tablespoons or the ambiguous pinch, which often prompts a sea of panicked looks from our students.

But here is a helpful tool: King Arthur’s master weight chart.  If you want to bake like a pro with a scale but still use Grandma’s to-die-for chocolate chip cookie recipe, this weight chart will help guide you.  It quickly converts volume to weight for most major ingredients.  Check it out and get baking!

Have you made the switch to weighing your ingredients?

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How to Pre-Shape a Baguette

As many first time bakers can attest, the toughest part about home baking is often getting a feel for handling the dough. This takes time, patience and practice, but it helps to know where to start!

A good technique to learn is the pre-shape. In the pre-shape phase, you give the dough a loose suggestion of where it’s heading, which makes the final shaping easier.

Here, we’ve broken down the pre-shaping of a baguette into 5 clear steps.

Step 1 – Divide dough loosely into a square shape using a bench scraper, and arrange any small extra pieces on top.

Step 2 – Gently flatten the dough.

Step 3 – Grasp the top edge of the dough and fold the top third to the center. Use your thumb to seal.

Step 4 – Take the top edge of the dough once again, and fold the top edge to the bottom edge. Press gently to seal.

Step 5 – Rock dough back and forth to tighten. Rest dough on the table with the seam facing down.

Note: Be sure to work on a floured surface so that your dough doesn’t stick!

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Challah Braiding Instructions

If you want to bake to impress, there’s nothing better than a beautifully braided loaf of challah bread to elicit “oohs” and “aahs” from friends and family.

For home bakers, braiding might seem a bit complicated. In reality, it’s pretty simple and yields an impressive result that’s worth the effort!

To help you get started, we present our easy-to-follow instructions for braiding challah.  We promise you’ll be proud of the result!

Step-by-Step Braiding Instructions:

Challah Instructions1

  1. Roll pre-shaped logs into strands, even in length (approximately 7-8”) with a slightly tapered end. Lay them next to one another on a flat surface.
  2. Begin to braid in the center of the strands by taking the left strand, crossing it up and over the middle strand and then laying it inside the right strand.
  3. Now do the same from the opposite side. Take the right strand, cross it up and over the middle strand and place it inside the left strand.
  4. Continue to braid, alternating sides until all the dough is braided. When you reach the end, pinch the strands together to seal them.
  5. Carefully lift the braid and flip the entire loaf over so that the unbraided strands are now closest to you.
  6. Begin with the right strand and continue to braid, alternating sides until you reach the end and pinch together the strands to seal them.

Give it a try! Remember – even if it doesn’t look perfect, it will still taste delicious.

 

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Arugula

We just love arugula here at Le Pain Quotidien! Many of our tartines are served with a side of crisp arugula and nearly all of our delicious salads are made with this wonderfully nutritious, leafy vegetable. Sometimes called salad rocket, roquette, or if you really want to get scientific, eruca sativa, this peppery lettuce brings flavor to any salad, sandwich and even pasta dishes.

Arugula is a healthier salad green option than, say, iceberg or romaine lettuce because of its rich nutrient content that far surpasses the milder tasting, water-based lettuces. Arugula is a member of the brasisicaceae vegetable family among others such as kale, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard greens. And it does not fall short of its notably healthy veggie brethren. With high levels of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and even calcium, arugula is a terrific vegetable to integrate into your diet for its antioxidants, cancer prevention, and bone health benefits.

Not only is it available year-round at your local market, it is stored easily in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Now, it’s up to you to get creative with your arugula. The options are boundless— have your hand at a revamped roasted turkey sandwich with arugula, an arugula garnished flatbread, or maybe even a fresh arugula and walnut pesto.

If you find yourself in an arugula mood, stop by your nearest Le Pain Quotidien and try our Aged Vermont Goat Cheese & Arugula salad. Its perfectly light, citrusy lemon and olive oil dressing is the ideal complement to the robust flavor of our organic arugula greens and the creamy tanginess of the goat cheese.

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The Cold-Pressed Truth: Our Organic Olive Oil

The Cold-Pressed Truth: The Story Behind Our Organic Olive Oil

Organic extra virgin olive oil holds a central position on our dining table; after all, it is a key ingredient in many of our dishes! We source our olive oil from Les Moulins Mahjoub, a small Tunisian family farm. What makes olive oil from Les Moulins Mahjoub so special? Let’s start from the beginning.

At Les Moulins Mahjoub, the Mahjoub family uses organic olives grown on the banks of Tunisia’s Medjerda River. The riverbanks have been an olive-growing region since Roman times. The Mahjoub family’s practice of cultivating their olive trees on such fertile land is vital in yielding olives with such intense flavor. Come December and January when the olives have ripened to a greenish-black color, they are hand-harvested.

To extract the oil, the Mahjoubs use a traditional cold pressing technique. While the technique began when the Greeks first began pressing olives, it is still used today to produce oils of the highest quality and integrity. ‘First cold-pressed’ refers to the fact that the olive has been crushed all at once at a temperature not exceeding 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Although alternative processing techniques that use heat or chemicals may extract more oil from the olive, this destroys the flavor and results in lower quality olive oil.

Specifically, the cold pressing process begins by stone-grinding the olives into a paste. The paste is then spread onto hand-woven, natural-fiber disks, which are stacked and pressed together to extract water and oil from the paste. The oil is subsequently separated from the oil-water mixture using traditional decantation methods. In this step, the mixture will be allowed to sit. The oil will settle out to the bottom of the mixture, allowing the water to be poured away. The result of this process? Delicious and smooth extra virgin olive oil!

 

trees in a field trees in a field

At Les Moulins Mahjoub, the Mahjoub family uses organic olives grown on the banks of Tunisia’s Medjerda River. The riverbanks have been an olive-growing region since Roman times. The Mahjoub family’s practice of cultivating their olive trees on such fertile land is vital in yielding olives with such intense flavor. Come December and January when the olives have ripened to a greenish-black color, they are hand-harvested.

To extract the oil, the Mahjoubs use a traditional cold pressing technique. While the technique began when the Greeks first began pressing olives, it is still used today to produce oils of the highest quality and integrity. ‘First cold-pressed’ refers to the fact that the olive has been crushed all at once at a temperature not exceeding 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Although alternative processing techniques that use heat or chemicals may extract more oil from the olive, this destroys the flavor and results in lower quality olive oil.

Specifically, the cold pressing process begins by stone-grinding the olives into a paste. The paste is then spread onto hand-woven, natural-fiber disks, which are stacked and pressed together to extract water and oil from the paste. The oil is subsequently separated from the oil-water mixture using traditional decantation methods. In this step, the mixture will be allowed to sit. The oil will settle out to the bottom of the mixture, allowing the water to be poured away. The result of this process? Delicious and smooth extra virgin olive oil!

Les Moulins Mahjoub packs many other of its specialty ingredients in this high quality oil as well. To check out these products (which include everything from sundried tomatoes to artichoke hearts) visit our online pantry! While you’re there, be sure to stock up on your own jar of olive oilto use in dressings, marinades or simply as a finishing oil. And, check out CNN’s coverage of Les Moulins Mahjoub for more information on olive oil the Tunisian way.

coffee being harvested coffee being harvested

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Talking Wheat With Alain Coumont

It’s pretty obvious that Alain Coumont is serious about bread – but he’s also passionate about the stuff that goes into it. Alain has spent the past few years delving into the world of wheat, growing his own and even looking back thousands of years to understand this crop the way that nature intended it. Read our conversation with the LPQ founder and budding wheat farmer-extraordinaire below:

Tell us a bit about “ancient wheat.” Why are you so interested in it?

With the different types of wheat, just like all plants in nature, sometimes there is a normal plant that has mutated and then has some interesting characteristic. And then that mutating plant will be taken and reproduced. The species changes. The normal wheat has 26 pairs of chromosomes, and ancient wheat has much less – I think 12 or fewer.

Today there is a lot of modification of seeds – wheat is a plant that naturally interbreeds, because of wind; because of the environment. But there are some species of wheat that were kept for thousands of years with no hybridization.   We’re trying to go back to find basically old species of wheat. It’s a bit like archaeology. This summer, I have eaten bread made with a wheat that hasn’t changed in 6,000 years.

Wow – and what is that like?

It’s fantastic. It’s very dense, and the color is yellow. I first had the impression that it was made of cornmeal – but it’s pure wheat. It has a much lighter gluten, less aggressive – only 2 or 3%, where regular wheat has 11 to 12% now.

Why don’t we see more ancient wheat? Why is it so difficult to get?

You must cultivate them in a region that is far away from big grain, in a small field that is far away from industrial agriculture. It naturally grows in tiny fields in specific mountains, unchanged for thousands of years. You can’t grow it in a big field.

There is also a legal part of it – all the seeds that you plant for commercial use have to be registered with the EU or the USDA, so that means that if you pull some ancient wheat that are not in the official catalog, it’s very complicated. In Europe now there is a big controversy about it, so those seeds that are not in the official catalog – you cannot sell them or exchange them.

But there is a loophole that if you grow them yourself, if you grind them and make your own bread, it’s a different story. I met a baker who’s doing this, and I think it’s very inspiring. It’s one thing that I’d like to take a closer look at. I want to get much more involved in the milling process.

You’ve been growing your own organic, modern wheat…

Yes, in July, I harvested my first wheat. I was surprised that we had any crop at all – it’s a winter wheat, usually you plant it in October so that it has time to germinate and can survive the winter. But just when we got the wheat to plant, we had a massive amount of rain, so the soil was too soft. We planted the wheat on January 1 – on New Year’s Day. That was way too late, but we managed to harvest some wheat.

Do you have any tips?

Now, the big thing is you don’t turn the soil, because every inch that you go deeper, there are more microscopic animals that live there. They all have their function. When you till the soil, the animals that live there are brought up on top. Also, the worms are very important. If you turn it once, they stay in there. But if you do it a lot, they don’t stay. They don’t want to live there.

The plants need these worms and animals. When you see trees in the forest – massive, beautiful, strong – those are organic! The soil hasn’t been turned.

It’s a lot of experimentation. I’m not a professional farmer. It’s a hobby. It’s more just to see from my own eyes what’s possible.

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