I am super excited to share today’s post with you all! A few weeks ago I was invited by Le Pain Quotidien to join their Philly baking team for a personal baking class. I could not have been more thrilled to see this invite in my email because as we know – there is nothing I love more than sweets. Plus, any chance I can get to upgrade my baking skills by learning from the pros, I am going to take it!
For those of you not familiar with the brand, Le Pain Quotidien (which means “the daily bread) was created by chef Alain Coumont; a man who was never satisfied in his search for the perfect bread. His first bakery made its debut in Brussels, but now Le Pain Quotidien can be found in major cities like NYC (flagship), Chicago and of course, Philadelphia. These cafes are filled with just as much great food as they are great desserts and the atmosphere can’t be beat.
Our class was focused on pies which was perfect for Thanksgiving and challah bread which was perfect because I have yet to find a piece of challah I didn’t want to immediately eat. When we first walked into the back where all the baking action happens we were faced with a wall of the famous Le Pain Quotidien bread. I may have drooled a little.
Each person in the class got to make a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie (my favorite) and even better, we got to keep them! For timing purposes the pie crust was already made and frozen, but we got to review the recipe and fill the pies ourselves. As expected, I added pieces of dark chocolate to each pie which brought the perfect touch of decadence. Then our pies were added to the biggest and baddest oven I’ve ever seen (below).
Next came my favorite part – the challah bread! Because the class was 2 hours we were able to go through almost the entire process of the making the bread. We started by weighing out the pre-made dough and then rolling it into a log shape. From there we let the dough rest and after about 15 minutes we took the raised dough and braided it into it’s famous shape.
After we braided the dough, we let it rest for another 20-30 minutes and then popped them into the oven. What came out of the oven was a mild version of what heaven looks like.
Even more than the hands-on aspect of the class, I really enjoyed the educational piece that came with it. Every step that we did was accompanied with a recipe and full discussion on proper baking techniques. The staff was so informative and genuinely excited to share their knowledge with us. It made the experience really personal and much more fun.
At the end of the class we got to sit and enjoy a slice of the delicious pecan pie. It was definitely the perfect ending to the night.
Want to get the baking with Le Pain Quotidien experience? Maybe you want to share the experience with a friend (a perfect gift idea!). Head over to the Le Pain Quotidien site and check out the classes near you. My fellow Philly people can use code ‘PABLOG14’ and get $10 off of their registration fee!
All photos belong to Rachel In FlightPin It