French bread varieties


The traditional long, thin bread, whose dough is governed by French law. Typically 65cm long, but can reach a length of a metre. The demi-baguette is a sandwich-sized loaf that can be eaten right away.


Longer, skinnier cousin of the baguette, often topped with cheese or sesame seeds. The word “ficelle” literally means “string.”


A delicious, light, puffy bread with eggs and butter. It’s classified as a viennoiserie (things produced in the same way as bread but with additional ingredients – croissants and pains au chocolat are other examples), and it’s commonly served with tea.


Often contains local products such as olives or olive oil, sundried tomatoes, anchovies, or herbs. Similar to focaccia in Italy.

Croissants de campagne

This rustic sourdough loaf, which translates as “country bread,” is round and often produced with a mixture of white and wholewheat/rye flour.

Beurre Jambon

We’ll start simple since the brilliance of French cooking is that when the ingredients are correct, simplicity triumphs. As a result, this three-ingredient sandwich, which can be found at almost any boulangerie, is the most basic of them all: bread, ham, and butter. What else could you possibly require?

Croque Madame is a type of croque monsieur.

This béchemel-drenched brasserie staple, served with a knife and fork, is the ideal showcase for the marvel that is French eggs.

Bagnat Pan

This picnic sandwich from Provence is loaded with tomatoes, black niçoise olives, bell peppers, anchovies, and tuna, and is a favourite in places like Nice (where those ingredients are their best.)

Chez Alain’s Miam Miam Sandwich

Many consider the famed made-to-order sandwiches to be the best in the country—if not the world—and are served from a stand in Paris’s oldest covered market, the Marché des Enfants Rouges. Since launching in 2005, Chef Alain Roussel’s simple masterpieces, served on fresh-baked bread, have drawn hours-long queues; you choose the cheese (Comté or Cantal) and the fillings, and the rest is magic.

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