The French love their bread, so we have an array of delicious options to choose from, whether we want to bake it or simply eat it. Here are some of the most popular French breads that satisfy your appetite.

Explore different types of  French breads

5 different types of French bread

Making and eating bread is an integral part of French breakfast and culture as a whole. It is part of the country’s culinary heritage, and every town and village in France has a boulangerie (bakery).

Boulangeries are subject to strict laws and must bake their bread on-site. Baking bread is considered an art form, and bakers have been honing their craft and developing new types of bread for centuries.

That means numerous types of bread are available throughout France, ranging from traditional French breads such as baguette and brioche to lesser-known options. There are also numerous regional variations, so this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the breads you might encounter in France.

However, these are some of the most well-known types of French bread, and you’re bound to discover some new favorites just from this list.


If you could name any French bread, it would undoubtedly be la baguette. This long, thin stick of bread is a must-have in any French kitchen, and it’s ideal for mopping up soups, stews, and sauces or making a sandwich.

Baguettes first gained popularity in the late 18th century, and by 1920, they were officially named ‘baguette.’ The baguette became so popular that bakers began looking for shortcuts, such as using pre-made, frozen dough to speed up the baking process.

In 1993, Le Décret Pain (‘The Bead Decree’) was passed in an attempt to preserve the baguette’s authenticity. By law, an authentic baguette must be made by hand and sold in the same bakery where it is made. It is made entirely of water, wheat flour, yeast, and salt.

In addition to the classic baguette, which is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, there are numerous other varieties to try, such as baguette aux olives (olive baguette), baguette Viennoise (made with milk, butter, and sugar for a sweet taste), and baguette aux céréales (made with grains and cereals).



This sweet bread is popular in both French boulangeries and patisseries. It’s a versatile bread that can be eaten plain, with butter, jam, or as part of a savory dish. Brioche is also one of the easiest types of French bread to make, making it ideal for beginners.

There are numerous different recipes for this bread, and in France, each bakery has its own, which may include milk or crème fraiche in addition to eggs and butter.

After you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can customize it by adding vanilla, citrus zest, chocolate chips, or pink sugar-coated almonds to create brioche aux pralines.


Pain de Campagne

Pain de campagne, or French country bread, is a traditional French bread that is hearty and rustic. It’s made with a sourdough starter, which gives it a slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with meat and cheese.

This type of bread is chewier than a baguette and comes in various shapes, though all varieties are irregular, distinguishing it from the baguette’s uniform appearance.

Pain de Campagne

Pain aux noix

Pain aux noix translates as ‘nut bread’ in English. It’s typically made with walnuts, which give it a distinct nutty flavor and satisfyingly crunchy texture, but other nuts can be substituted. Some bakers use hazelnuts or pecans to sweeten the bread and may also include spices or honey.

This bread pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. Try topping it with soft cheese, honey, or jam. Its nutty flavor complements cheese and charcuterie, making it ideal for pairing with cheese and wine.

Pain Aux Noix


Boule de pain simply means ’round bread’, or, more literally, ‘ball bread,’ since boule means ‘ball’ in French. This type of French bread resembles a slightly squashed ball with a flat bottom and rounded top.

It’s a simple bread with only four ingredients: water, bread flour, a leavening agent (baker’s yeast), and salt. 

Boule can be used to mop up olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with an open sandwich, or served on the side of your main course. Because it is so versatile, you can eat it with almost anything.


All these different types of French breads are available in the markets. Learn how to order food in French, and you will be ready. We understand that speaking a foreign language in public requires confidence and courage, and italki is here to provide you with that much courage to speak French effortlessly.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the most famous French bread?

The baguette is perhaps the most famous French bread, known for its long, thin shape and crisp crust. It is a staple of French bakeries and is enjoyed throughout France and worldwide.

What are some other popular types of French bread?

Other popular types of French bread include the pain de campagne, a rustic country bread; the brioche, a rich and slightly sweet bread; and the ficelle, a thinner version of the baguette. Each region of France also has its own traditional bread, such as the fougasse from Provence or the couronne from Lyon.

What is the best way to enjoy French bread?

French bread is best enjoyed fresh on the day it is baked. It can be enjoyed independently or used as a base for sandwiches, toast, or bruschetta. It pairs well with cheese, charcuterie, and various spreads and dips.

How is French bread typically served in France?

In France, French bread is often served with meals as a side dish or as a base for sandwiches. It is also commonly enjoyed as a snack, either on its own or with butter, cheese, or jam. French bread is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in many different ways.


French bread is not just a staple food in France; it’s a cultural icon that embodies the essence of French culinary tradition. From the iconic baguette with its crispy crust and fluffy interior to the hearty pain de campagne with its rustic charm, each type of French bread tells a story of craftsmanship and passion.

Whether enjoyed on its own, as a complement to a meal, or as the foundation of a delicious sandwich, French bread delights the senses and brings a taste of France to every bite.

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