By hand… at sunrise

Without hands to mix it, knead it and shape it, bread is an unfinished thought. Our bakers knowingly nurture each loaf. They feel the consistency of the dough—too slack? too tight?—to know when it has had enough mixing. They know by the wobble of the proofing loaves whether they have risen enough before baking. They know by the smell of the browning crust when the loaves are ready to remove from the oven. They know by the sound of a hollow tap-tap-tap on the loaf’s side when they are baked to perfection.

We depend on our bakers to watch over every flute, loaf, round and baguette. They are the most essential ingredient to a each and every loaf we make.

Meet Scott Kendall, Head Baker & Instructor

Fashion Island Bakery, Newport Beach

My favorite aspect of baking is the scientific side behind every recipe. I have always been a science nerd and even when I was in school baking appealed to that side of my brain.  Baking is science you can eat – what could be better?

The most challenging recipe for me to bake is a baguette. It requires minimal ingredients, just four, and is more reliant on skill, experience and true understanding of the science behind fermentation than other types of breads because it’s less forgiving.  When I make a good baguette it reaffirms my passion for baking and it’s a good day.

Meet Daniel Rios, Baker & Instructor
Bleecker Street, New York City

I became a baker because of my love of good bread. I was two years into an accounting and finance degree when I changed to culinary and decided to turn my lifelong hobby of baking into a career.

I love that bread baking not only requires precision but that it is also a creative process. But my favorite thing about working with bread—besides eating it—has to be the joy people experience from my work. No two bakers will ever create the same loaf, so I like for others to taste my interpretation and unique product. It’s a joy to watch people enjoy bread together.



Meet Daichi Ebato, Baker & Instructor
Bleecker Street, New York City

I have been working in kitchens around New York City for 8 years. A few years ago, I began bread baking and I haven’t looked back since. The most rewarding part about my job is the experience of making and sharing the thing I love, bread, with people every day. My favorite recipe to bake for friends, family and our guests is the baguette – simple and delicious.

The most challenging part of being a baker is finding a great bakery and team to work and grow with and I have found that here at Le Pain Quotidien.  No day is the same as the next and that pushes me to grow.

 

Meet Hayley Florczak, Baker & Instructor
Bleecker Street, New York City

My love for baking began when I was just 2 years old, baking with my grandmother in her kitchen. I would help her scale the sugar for pound cakes and cookies and now, over 20 years later, I have made that passion into my career.

My favorite thing about baking is creating something that not only satisfies a person’s hunger but also brings joy to their spirit. And I feel nothing brings more joy to so many people like the sharing of a meal around our communal table.

 

Meet Joe Bowie, Baker & Instructor
Bleecker Street, New York City

My career as a baker began after dancing professionally for over 25 years all around the world.  From the time I was young, I have always thought baking is like magic. The ingredients you put into a bowl don’t come out the same way they went in; flour, oil, sugar and eggs come out of the oven as a cake – it’s alchemy.

My favorite recipes to bake are breads and pastries made with whole grains. They are challenging but equally healthy and delicious.

 

Meet Chanel Hogue, Baker & Instructor
Fashion Island, Newport Beach

My favorite thing about baking is delivering the final product to a guest and watching their face light up.  Whether it’s a brioche roll at the bakery counter for a regular customer or fresh biscuits and scones from the oven for a bakery class student, the appreciation for all the love (and butter) that went into the baked good is the best reward.

Baking for Le Pain Quotidien allowsme to go back to the basics of bread and how simple and delicious it really can be and I enjoy sharing that with our bakery students every week.

 

Meet Robert Townsend, Baker
Fashion Island, Newport Beach

I love the hands-on and very tactile aspect of baking.  There is just something about going from tossing around a 50 pound bag of flour with brute strength to gently shaping and rolling out a perfect baguette that comes intuitively to me. 

I see different recipes as a fun challenge to try and am still working to perfect my grandmother’s unique technique of tossing tortilla dough back and forth to change the rolling direction – I haven’t been able to replicate it yet but I have hope I will get it soon.

 

Meet Adriana Delgadillo, Baker
Fashion Island, Newport Beach

From the time I was five, I remember watching my family bake conchitas and ever since I have enjoyed crafting these little artistic experiments. It’s important though to always remember to measure your ingredients correctly otherwise your experiments won’t turn out the way you wish.

Bread in general is a challenging medium but the more I work with it, the more comfortable I become with it. Daily practice really does help.