Following on from my recent post about baguettes,
I thought I would write a short post about other types of bread that are also popular in France. As there are so many different kinds of bread to be found, I have decided to highlight five of them, not including regional specialities. I have listed them in no particular order!
Pain de campagne
Pain de campagne translates as ‘country bread’. It is a traditional, rustic bread that can be found in most boulangeries.
The majority of pain de campagne loaves are made with a mixture of white, whole wheat and rye flour, with the addition of water, salt and either baker’s yeast or a natural rising agent like baking powder or baking soda.
Traditionally, in the past, people would bake massive loaves of country bread in communal ovens which would feed their families for several days, at least.
In the early 20th century, the baguette became the bread of choice for most people. However, with a resurgence of artisan breads, in relatively recent times, pain de campagne has become popular again. I have also heard pain de campagne referred to as the ‘French sourdough’.
Pain de Mie
When I first spotted a white, sliced loaf in a French supermarket, I was quite taken aback. To me, it was the polar opposite of the baguette and I couldn’t understand the appeal of such bland bread. I also had French friends who used to stock up on sliced bread when they came to the UK. When I asked them why they liked it so much, they said it was great for making toast! Of course, the quality of sliced, prepacked loaves has (mostly) improved since then.
It also works very well if you want to make a classic croque monsieur.
To call this a toasted cheese and ham sandwich doesn’t do it justice!
You can even find a crustless pain de mie, should you want to!
Pain de Seigel
Pain de Seigel or rye bread is one of my favourite types of bread.
It is a dark bread and is sometimes called ‘pain noir’.
I have read that it is traditionally served with oysters.
This is a whole wheat or brown bread and is generally considered to be a more healthy option.
Another healthier French bread is pain au son which is a brown wheat bread with added bran.
Brioche is very different to the other breads I have mentioned as it is a ‘sweet’ bread and possibly that is why I am not a huge fan, although I know lots of people who are!
A Brioche is made with yeast, flour, butter, and eggs. It is basically an enriched dough.
In France, Brioche is generally eaten at breakfast or as an after school snack.
I haven’t included ‘pain au chocolat’ or ‘pain au raisins’ because, despite having bread in their names, they aren’t technically bread. This is because they are made of the same kind of laminated dough as croissants.
Do you have a favourite type of bread, either French or of a different nationality?! I really love olive bread…
I am linking this post with #PoCoLo