The art of taking time

You can count the ingredients in our bread on one hand: flour, water, salt and time. We use only organic stone-ground flour milled to our exacting specifications—this is what gives our bread an earthy, deep richness and hearty crust. While commercial bakeries might use yeast to get their bread to rise, we nurture a natural sourdough starter to give our breads lift. It’s the secret to our bread’s rich aroma and craggy interior. And time is always on our side. We take bread making nice and slow, letting the levain starter do its job, with our bakers guiding the way.

Our baking process, levain

A levain is a natural yeast culture that slowly matures to bring a wonderfully tangy flavor, complex aroma and texture as well as nutrients to our hearth-style loaves. Maintaining these natural yeast starters requires patience and skill; it must be cared for every day to retain and develop its unique flavor. In fact, the starter we use in our bakeries is nearly 50 years old. It’s an involved process but a worthy one, for it brings the nuanced taste from the past to our time-honored loaves.

We let our levain do the heavy lifting. Natural yeast starters benefit from long fermentation, during which time the muscles of our bread, called gluten, soften into amino acids, which are more easily digested by the body. Besides allowing for the uniquely developed taste of the bread, the fermentation process also assists to break down sugars and starches, resulting in rustic loaves with higher mineral and vitamin content and lower carbohydrate content.

Le Pain Quotidien breads are not only easier to digest, but they’re also a better nutritional alternative to conventional breads. This is the LPQ difference.

Meet our family

Our hearth-baked rustic breads all begin with organic, stone-ground wheat, water and salt. They are, at their core, the same. However once we use whole-wheat, add grains and seeds, or supplement with other carefully milled flours, we are able to offer a selection of breads that can satisfy your whim.

Wheat

This is the bread we are known for, made with organic whole-wheat flour, sea salt, water and levain, our all-natural fermented starter. Whether served alongside soup, salad, a hearty farm-egg breakfast or used as the base for our signature tartines, this is the bread that brings us home.

Baguette

Long, slender and classic, the baguette features a shatteringly crisp crust and a tender, supple crumb. It’s made from organic wheat flour, sea salt, water and yeast and is ideal paired with our farm-style fresh fruit jams or chocolate spreads.

Rye

Dense, rich and hearty, our deeply dark rye is made with organic dark rye flour, whole-wheat flour, sea salt, water and levain. With good butter and fleur de sel, life is good.

5-Grain

An ideal bread for breakfast, our five-grain highlights flax seeds, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Raisins add sweetness and whole organic wheat flour, yeast, sea salt and water comprise the bones of the loaf.

Flute

Shaped after its namesake, the petite flute begins with organic wheat flour, sea salt, water and levain, and after shaping it is rolled in hazelnuts and raisins. Need we say more?