The Wood-Fired Blog

Pain Pascale

We are lucky to live within a few miles of the Trader Joe’s in Pacific Grove, CA. I really don’t know what we would do without it, as I often (and only somewhat jokingly) think our local Supermarket (Save Mart) is out to kill its patrons with artificial additives, preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils. Our favorite markets in Florence were the Co-op on Viale Europa, which is a wonderful big box retailer featuring an on-site bakery, cheese shop, butcher, salumeria, and a great fish shop, and the Penny Market in Bagno a Ripoli, something of a European version of Trader Joe’s. Penny Market stocks only one brand of most items, if they can’t get a good deal they don’t stock it, they get great special buys, and the store is small, and stocked to the gils. You can buy a week’s worth of groceries in a couple of minutes. haha. Really, my kind of store.

One of my favorite items at Trader Joe’s is their really darn good Pain Pascale organic, whole wheat demi miche. I don’t know who bakes it for them, and how many other TJs stock the item, but if you are a TJs shopper, you should look out for it. Our store went through a period where they have it some days and not others, but for the past few months they have had it consistently. Our teenage daughter even likes it.

I’ve been lucky enough to have eaten quite a bit of Pain Poilane in Paris, and I have been into a few of their bakeries and have even been allowed to watch them work with one of their wonderful wood ovens in the basement of the bakery. So while Pain Pascale is not the same as the original—what is? I have heard stories about movie stars paying private jets to deliver Pain Poilane to movie sets. I think it might be worth it. Pain Poilane with french butter for breakfast. Ahhh.

Both loaves are a Miche. To quote Wikipedia:

Pain de campagne (“country bread” in French) is typically a large round loaf (“miche”) made from a natural leavening similar to, but not as sour as, American sourdough. Most traditional versions of this bread are made with a combination of white flour with whole wheat flour and/or rye flour, water, leavening and salt. For centuries, French villages had communal ovens where the townsfolk would bring their dough to be baked, and the miches weighed from four to as much as twelve pounds. Such large loaves would feed a family for days or weeks, until the next baking day.

I have been complaining about factory and supermarket bread for as long as I can remember—they not only taste awful and have terrible crust, they have a huge list of artificial additives.

But not Pan Pascale. Here is the list of ingredient:
Organic whole wheat flour
Filtered water
Sea salt

Enjoy! (If you can find it).

40 thoughts on “Pain Pascale

  1. love this bread! I have been buying it for at least 5 years. I slice it up and throw in the freezer. When I need a slice I pop it into the toaster and it comes out all warm and fresh-like.

  2. I love this bread as well. Unfortunately as of 2013 TJ no longer sells it. I asked someone and they said something about ‘issues with the distributor’. Any suggestions for a worthy replacement in the Bay Area?

    • I’m so upset to hear that Trader Joe’s won’t be selling the Pain Pascal Bread anymore. It is the only bread we eat! The bag says it is distributed and sold exclusively by Trader Joe’s, Monrovia, Ca. Is there another store that sells it? Does anyone know of a comparable product? I can’t go back to regular bread again!!

      • I just found your complain about TJ not selling Pain Pascal half load bread and I feel for you. I don’t eat any other bread as there is no other that can compare to Pail Pascal. How we can find out who was baking it for TJ? I am willing to pay for it much more than they were asking for it in TJ. TJ is trying to replace it with some little loafs they call “mini Pain Pascal” but they don’t know what they are doing. The mini version is all rubbery and cannot compare to the texture of Pain Pascal. Well, I hope i can find out who the baker is.

        • Look at Yury’s response. I tried ACME Bread and they are at least as good as Pain Pascal. I’m German so I know what good bread should be like. :)

    • Yury: thank you very much for the suggestion. You are a life saver! I went to the Ferry Building today and picked up a loaf of wheat bread. So delicious!

      Arno P

  3. Pain Pascal was made by La Boulange, which was bought by Starbucks last year. My guess is that the contract ended with 2012. Of course, Acme is a great bakery.

    • Confirmed. Bought it today in La Boulange of Walnut Creek, happy me it is co close to my house! It costs just few cents more than TJ price, $4 flat (no tax)

      • My Czech companion is so unhappy that T.J.s no longer has Pain Pascale bread. We went yesterday to La Boulange hoping we would find it here in Walnut Creek. He says that this bread makes him feel like he is home. They have what they call a country bread but it’s not the same. Please someone help, this bread must exist somewhere. Thanks, Anne

        • Sorry, I made a mistake in my e-mail address regarding my question about Pain Pascal bread. Would appreciate any feed-back on where to locate this bread. Who would think this would be so important in this day & age?? Anne

  4. I’ve never had the original full sized loaf, I just bought a Petite Pain Pascal bread from Trader’s yesterday. A very elicious small little round loaf. Perfect for a meal, but probably need to buy a couple for a dinner party.

    • San Diego TJs now carry Pain Pauline, which is conventional, not organic, difficult to cut, and falls apart. 100% NOT Pain Pascal. We are so disappointed, as it was the primary bread in our house always. Acme and La Boulange are too far from SD, and if anyone knows of a San Diego area supplier of Pain Pascal, do tell!

  5. I”m so loving it! I had it this morming with cream cheese and sundried tomato pesto and topped it with spinach omelete!

    • Ruslan,

      “La Boulange” and “Le Boulanger” are different bakery chains. Le Boulanger has been around for 10 or 15 years at least. La Boulange was started more recently.

      La Boulange makes a loaf similar to the TJ Pain Pascal, but it’s not truly whole wheat. It’s got some unbleached white flour in it. It tastes great, but not quite the same as the Pain Pascal. It would be good enough for me if it was whole wheat.

      I haven’t been into a Le Boulanger store for a while. They make a terrific french loaf with a chewy texture and crust. It’s awesome, but it’s a totally white flour product, and I’ve sworn off white flour, so I no longer buy it. Good luck.

  6. we love this bread too, we are from Czechoslovakia and this bread is exactly what we were used to eat back at home.
    TJ should make all the effort it takes to bring it back !!

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  8. I am desperate for the Pain Pascal demi miche from Trader Joe’s. My store keeps saying they are getting it back, but nothing so far. Please, who ever made it, give me the recipe. I will make it myself.

  9. It’s back at my local Trader Joe’s!! This is at San Antonio shopping center, Mountain View, CA. However, they now call it “Pain Pauline”. I wonder what prompted the interruption and name change?

  10. The Pain Pauline is just not the same!!! We are very disappointed. We also have never had bread the quality of the Pain Pascal that TJs used to carry. Would the amazing baker who had the Pain Pascal contract with TJs please come out of the woodwork and tell us where to find your magical bread?!?!

  11. How is Pain Pauline different from Pain Pascal? Is the original recipe still bein baked and who bakes and distributes it? How can we find it?

  12. Our TJ at El Cerrito Plaza now also has the Pain Pauline. It seems to me like the crust is softer. But I’m still happy to have it, since it is the only bread I like at TJ (except for the European style whole grain bread, but my kids won’t eat that). Still, I’d like to understand why some places have the Pain Pascal back (see post above) and we have the female counterpart Pauline which seems to be slightly inferior…

  13. The bread IS available at TJ!!!! I found it two weeks ago and have bought it twice now (today 2/13/140 aqnd was just about to recommend it to my son who is a big TJ shopper. FANTASTIC BREAD!!!!

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  15. This was the best bread at TJ’s until they discontinued as of end of May in Santa Barbara. I could cry but instead, is there anyone who has the recipe?

  16. Found out today that T J is no longer carrying Pane Pascal. They say it is no longer available.
    I’m in shock. Help!!!

  17. I was told at a TJ in Passdena that they had had a problem with their supplier through the summer of 2014 (he wasn’t specific) but now they have been getting small amounts in. Today, he said, they had 8 loaves. I made the mistake of buying a “Pain Pauline” in deceptively identical packaging the other day. If Pain Pascale is made by Acme or Le Boulange, then Pain Pauline might be made by Orowheat, or even Wonder Baking.

  18. I’m heartened to hear that I’m not the only one who found the deceptively packaged “Pauline” such a disappointing impostor! Sadly, the original 100% WW organic demi miche is no longer available and I miss it terribly. I keep trying to reproduce it with no success. If anyone has a recipe, I’ll jump through hoops! Please share if you do!

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