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6 Types Of French Bread – Buying Bread In France

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France makes some of the best bread in the world, and they are well-known for that. The French care a lot about their bread. They love it so much that they eat this at every meal. It’s probably no surprise because they make the best ones on the planet. French bread is typically baked with flour, water, yeast, and salt. In general, bread in France is distinctly sweet. These baked goodies are usually crunchy on the outside and a bit soft and chewy on the inside.

When you’re in France, don’t forget to visit their boulangeries and try all the different kinds. While there are many different regional loaves of bread and varieties here we cover the most common types you’ll see when traveling in France.

Baguette, which is probably the first image that comes to mind when we talk about French bread, is just one of them. Let’s get to know the rest.

Six Different Types of French Bread 


Baguette (Image: heiteu)

People quickly imagine a 65-cm Baguette when we talk about French bread, and we cannot blame them. This French bread is the most popular of them all. A typical French breakfast is just not complete without it. If you want your Baguette crisp and crunchy, order the bien cuit Baguette; “bien cuit” means well-done. The pas trop cuit, on the other hand, has a soft crust. Baguettes make good breakfast food, especially with creamy butter spread on top and a good cup of French coffee.


Ficelle bread
Ficelle bread (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Ficelle means “string” in French. This is the Baguette’s longer, thinner, and more savory cousin. Because they are so thin, they must be eaten fresh because their insides dry out quite quickly. Ficelles are made with bread flour, olive oil, and yeast but are made more savory by sprinkling sesame seeds, herbs, cheese, or a combination. It has a crunchy crust and a slightly chewy texture on the inside that is filled with air pockets. This bread lends itself to many eating occasions. A Ficelle loaf is sometimes sliced into small round pieces for hors d’oeuvres and is usually served at business meals or during formal occasions. You can try dipping it in olive oil as some people do. Topping it with caramelized onions is also a popular option.


Brioche bread
Brioche bread (Image: magdus)

This bread is light and slightly puffy because of its higher egg and butter content. Its crumb is rich and tender, and its crust is flaky. It is richer than the other kinds of French bread because of the addition of butter, eggs, and either milk or cream. Some Brioche loaves have brandy while others have chocolate chips or fruits.

Brioche can be served plain and it can also take on different forms. It can serve as a container for foie gras, coulibiac, cervelat lyonnais, sausage, or fillet of beef en croute. The Brioche à tête or parisienne is its most popular form. The Brioche here is baked into a fluted, round tin container with a smaller ball of dough placed on top to form the tête or the head. The Brioche Nanterre is also a recognized form where the Brioche is baked into a standard loaf tin pan.


Fougasse bread
Fougasse bread (Image: Ben Demey)

This French bread is as flat as a pancake, and its pattern resembles an ear of wheat. The crust is crisp while the crumb is spongy and a bit chewy. It is traditionally eaten plain, although some Fougasse loaves contain cheese or bacon strips, which is similar to the Italian calzone. Some variants include dried fruits, nuts, goat cheese, or Roquefort. Rosemary and thyme also go well with this flatbread, as well as sundried tomatoes, olive oil, and anchovies. The sweet Fougasse bread can be eaten cold at breakfast while the savory variants can be eaten fresh from the oven as snacks.

Pain Complet

Pain Complet bread
Pain Complet bread (Image: klacomas)

Pain Complet is a brown bread made of whole wheat. Some loaves contain molasses or coffee. Enjoy this whole wheat, fiber-rich healthy goodness at breakfast with orange marmalade and coffee or at dinner with pâté. A loaf of Pain Complet is usually packed with vitamins and minerals, which is why this is a household name, whether you are a fan of French bread or not, and whether you are a health buff or not.

Pain de Campagne

Pain de Campagne
Pain de Campagne bread (Image: Andrew Bowden)

This delightful, rustic, round sourdough bread is traditionally made with a mix of white flour and whole wheat flour/rye flour, salt, water, and leavening. Allowing the dough to ferment makes the yeast grow and build complex flavors, making this bread truly delectable. Its crusty exterior gives way to a soft and chewy interior. Some Pain de Campagnes have other added ingredients, such as oregano, caramelized onions, and grated cheese. These loaves make excellent dinner rolls and breakfast sandwiches.


There are many different ways of enjoying French bread. You can eat this as is, or you can enjoy it with butter, jam, or honey. You can also dip them in olive oil or pair them up with sundried tomatoes or anchovies. They go well with pâté, orange marmalade, or your favorite meat, as well. It’s amazing how versatile French bread is. Make your way to the nearest French bakery and relish all six types – a good mix of the sweet and savory kinds – so you will get to know this interesting French love affair with their bread.


Featured Image: PublicDomainPictures

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