8 Most Popular Types of French Bread

As I’ve mentioned before, wine is an important part of French cuisine. Now, bread is just as important, maybe even more so. Traditionally in France, bread is consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is so essential for meals that people would hazard heavy rain, strong winds, or even flood just to visit the local boulangerie for some baguettes. But baguettes are not the only kind of bread you can find in France. Now here are eight types of French bread that have become popular around the world today.

1. Baguette

Now, who doesn’t know this world famous bread? Despite its popularity, the baguette is considered one of the simple breads because traditionally it is made of only flour, salt, yeast, and water. It is also often baked and consumed in the same day because it does not have preservatives and would go stale the next day. The baguette is closely linked to French cuisine. It is even synonymous with the term “French bread” in some countries. And it can be used to accompany almost any French dish or any kind of French cheese. Yes, it may be a simple bread but it is one of the most versatile ones out there.

2. Pain de Campagne

Pain de campagne literally means “country bread” in French. Typically, it is a large round or rectangular bread made with natural leavening, salt, water, and a mixture of white, rye, and/or whole wheat flour. It tastes a tad like the common sourdough, but less sour. This bread could be as heavy as four to twelve pounds and has a thick crust, which makes it last longer than the baguette.

3. Ficelle

Ficelle means “string” in French. It is a typical French bread and actually has the same ingredients as the baguette. The only difference between the two breads is that the baguette usually measures up to two inches in diameter while the ficelle is thinner, usually one inch in diameter. Most of the time the two have the same length but some boulangeries bake ficelles much shorter than baguettes. It is advisable to consume ficelle fresh from the oven as its crust dries up faster than the baguette because it’s much smaller in diameter.

4. Bâtard

Bâtard is made with the same dough as the baguette. Just like ficelle, its name has more to do with its shape rather than its ingredients or the process with which it is baked. You see, the word bâtard in French means “bastard”. In fact, it is called the “bastard baguette” by some. It is called that because it is considered an inferior version of a baguette. Compared to the baguette, bâtard is bigger in diameter but shorter in length. Now, the bâtard may be inferior for some strict traditionalists but some people actually prefer this to the baguette since it has a bigger diameter, which makes it perfect for those lovely turkey sandwiches.

5. Pain de mie

This type of French bread is not usually found fresh in boulangeries. It is because pain de mie is a loaf of sliced white bread, similar to the white cream breads in the U.S. Its name literally means “the interior of bread”, which suggests the absence of a hard shell or crust. It is made with flour, milk, yeast, salt, butter, and sugar. It is sweeter than most French breads and is often bought already packed. It is the most popular bread for sandwiches and can be great for making toasts.

6. Fougasse

Fougasse is a flat rectangular bread that is quite similar to the Italian bread focaccia. It is believed to have been developed centuries ago to test the temperature of stone ovens. In France, it is most often associated with the Provence region where it is believed to be a speciality. The main ingredients of fougasse are flour, milk, yeast, water, olive oil, and various herbs. Sometimes bakers include other things inside the dough such as cheese, meat, or fruits. This is done by folding the dough over the fillings. Then, the dough is shaped into a tree, a leaf, or a wheat stalk before it is put in the oven. Kind of cute, isn’t it?

7. Croissant

Now, who hasn’t heard this delicious sweet bread? Anyone who has visited a cafe knows this one. Why? Well, because croissants are the perfect bread to munch over a yummy cup of cappuccino or mocha latte, that’s why. Actually, a croissant is considered a pastry-bread hybrid. Its dough is made with yeast, milk, flour, salt, sugar, butter, water, and egg. And of course, a croissant would not be complete without its filling. Like in fougasse, fillings can be varied. The most common are chocolate, almonds, cheese, ham, and raisins. In France, though, it is often baked with almond fillings or none at all.

8. Brioche

Brioche is another sweet French bread that is fast becoming popular today. Like croissant, its dough is made with flour, milk, yeast, salt, butter, eggs, and some sugar. It is often baked in these fluted round flared tin molds and is haped by making two dough balls, with one dough smaller than the other. The smaller dough ball is placed on top of the bigger dough ball before it is glazed with egg and sprinkled with a bit of sugar. Sometimes it is baked with fruit filling or topped with pate or other meats. Absolutely delicious!

Is your favorite bread in the list? If it isn’t, what is your favorite French bread? How do you eat them? Favorite or not, French breads are some of the most delicious baked goods in the world and anyone who loves to eat should really try them.

8 Classic French Foods

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by anything from France. The country just sounds so beautiful and stylish with its lovely people, romantic language, grand historic buildings, and high fashion. And of course, let us not forget about the food! Some aficionados say that there’s just something about French cuisine that’s so delectable that it gets you hooked. In fact, many people from around the world have come to love French foods, whether they be main courses or desserts. Now, here are eight classic French foods that have grown quite popular today.

1. Baguette

This is one of the most popular breads to go with just about anything. It is a long thin bread that is made with some basic dough. You can slice it, put a dab of butter, sprinkle some garlic on it, stick it in the oven for a few minutes, and you get garlic bread. Or you can put ham, tomatoes, and lettuce in between and you get a sub sandwich. Or you can just slice it and eat it as it is.

2. Foie gras

This food is made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. This can be served on its own or as an accompaniment to a main dish, such as a steak. Now, this is one of the most controversial eatables in the world today. This is mainly because of the force-feeding of ducks and geese in foie gras farms. Apparently, you cannot have foie gras unless it comes from an overly fattened duck or goose. As a result, animal rights activists have condemned France’s continued consumption of this food, and in some countries, it is illegal to sell or buy it. But the tradition of foie gras consumption in France still continues today. In fact, foie gras consumption is considered a protected tradition in French law. Curious, isn’t it?

3. Steak frites

This dish is actually just a large steak with a hefty serving of fries. The steak is cooked with butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Some serve it with mustard or mayonnaise. A few years ago, a friend tried this at one of our local restaurants and he was surprised that he got fries with his steak. He thought it was a bit odd. But I love fries and so I was glad to take the fries from his plate.

4. Escargot

It is a dish of cooked snails and is often served as an appetizer. Yes, you read that right. They use snails. Usually, it is prepared by taking the meat out of their shells, and cooking them with butter, garlic, and some other herbs. This is one of those dishes I wish I did not know. But a lot of people actually love this dish. On top of that, escargot is considered quite nutritious because it is high in protein but low in fat.

5. Ratatouille

This particular dish has grown very popular partly because of that Pixar film about a mouse in Paris who loves to cook. And no, this does not include any rodents in its ingredients. That’s a disgusting thought! If you’ve seen the movie, you would know that this dish is actually composed of various vegetables, which are stewed in a pot and added with herbs and spices, usually oregano. I have read somewhere though that the traditional version just has three main ingredients in it; tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant.

6. Crêpe

This food basically looks and smells like pancake, only thinner. And it is also like the baguette. You can pair this with almost anything. This is usually prepared by putting something in the middle of a rolled up sheet, sort of a filling. You can use meat, vegetables, or fruits as filling. I usually eat them with mangoes and ice cream. It’s unimaginably delicious!

 

Baguette Delicious White French Bread

 

Baguette, with its crunchy, crisp crust and a soft, delectable center, is a traditional white bread served in France, and a staple of French cuisine. French “une baguette” is translated into English as a “stick”, which truly describes the unique form of this most popular French bread – it is shaped as a wand of about 60 cm long, and weighs 500 grammes (about 1 pound).In some areas of France, this bread is still delivered to the customers’ door every morning, together with traditional milk and cream. In big cities, people go to the local “Boulangerie” (hot bread shop) at least once a day themselves, to get a fresh loaf which is eaten at all three meals.

What to do if the nearest to you Boulangerie is as far as France? Do not despair, but try to bake baguette at home! It certainly takes a little time, effort and patience to master baking good baguette by yourself – but only until you become forever addicted to its terrific taste. We recommend the following recipes of this authentic, home-made French bread:

French Bread – Allrecipes
Bakers Yeast Bread
Country sourdough-yeast bread
French Bread
French Bread – baking911.com
Authentic French Bread
French Bread – About.com