6 classic types of French bread

6 classic types of French bread

Here’s a round-up of the bread stalwarts you’ll find in boulangeries across France


The classic long, thin loaf, whose dough is actually defined by French law. Usually around 65cm long, but can be up to a metre. The demi-baguette is a munchable sandwich-sized loaf.


The baguette’s longer, skinnier cousin, often sprinkled with cheese or sesame seeds. ‘Ficelle’ literally means ‘string’.


A light, puffy, sweet bread containing eggs and butter. Considered a viennoiserie (the name given to items made in the same way as bread but with added ingredients – croissants and pains au chocolat are other examples) and often eaten for tea.


Typically associated with Provence and often containing local ingredients such as olives or olive oil, sundried tomatoes, anchovies or herbs. Similar to the Italian focaccia.

Pain de campagne

Translating as ‘country bread’, this rustic sourdough loaf is round and typically made with a mixture of white and wholewheat/rye flour.

Pain complet

The French term for brown or wholewheat bread.

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