French Bread Types: What Are the Best and Most Popular Ones?

Different Types of French Bread

Ah, French bread. There’s no denying the fact that French bread is a world-famous culinary staple, and it remains one of the most widely consumed bread types on the planet. From the classic baguette to the sweet brioche, there are many different types of French bread that can be found in bakeries all over the world.

But, which types are the best? Which are the most popular? Let’s explore the world of French bread and take a closer look at some of the most beloved types available.


Ah, the baguette. The quintessential French bread type. Originating from the late 18th century, the baguette was created to feed French soldiers in battle.

Today, the baguette is a beloved French icon and enjoys popularity all over the world. The baguette is a long, thin loaf with a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior.

Perfect for sandwiches or with some butter, the baguette is a staple in every French household. There are several types of baguettes, from the classic tradition and campagne to the more modern sesame or olive baguette.

Topped with some cheese or charcuterie, the baguette can be the star of any French picnic.

Pain de Campagne

Pain de campagne is considered a classic bread from the French countryside. Pain de campagne, meaning “country bread,” is often characterized by a slightly tangy flavor achieved through a natural leavening process.

This bread is made with whole wheat or rye flour, making it a healthier option than some of the other French bread types. It’s perfect for a hearty sandwich or as a side for French onion soup.

The bread can be baked in different shapes and sizes, and there are countless recipes available that incorporate different seeds or grains.


Ficelle, which means “string” in French, is very similar to the baguette, only smaller and thinner. Its name perfectly describes its size, as a ficelle is typically about as thin as a piece of string.

Because of its size, ficelle is particularly well-suited for sandwiches or can be served as an accompaniment to cheese and charcuterie. It is typically crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making it a fantastic option for any meal.


A boule, which means “ball” in French, is a round, crusty bread with a soft interior. It is typically made with white flour but can be made with a mixture of flours.

Boules can also come in different sizes; some are large enough to be a centerpiece, while others are small enough to be individual portions. Boules are perfect for creating delicious and hearty sandwiches, as well as for making a French bread pizza.


Brioche is a rich, buttery bread that is slightly sweet, just like its French name suggests, “brioche” means “little buttery one.” Brioche is often used for sweet recipes, such as bread pudding and French toast, but it can also be used as the base for savory dishes, such as a Croquembouche or as a substitute for pizza dough.

Brioche is an incredibly versatile bread type, but it is not the healthiest option due to the high butter content.

Pain Au Levain

Pain au levain, which means “bread with leaven” in French, is a type of bread made using a natural leavening process. The bread has a slight sourdough taste, similar to Pain de Campagne. However, Pain au levain is often denser, making it perfect for toasting or as a side to accompany soup or stew.

It’s a great option for those who may be intolerant to traditional yeast or for those who want to try something different from the typical French breads.


Fougasse is a flat and crispy French bread that is typically enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. It can be flavored with a variety of herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme or garlic, and it is typically served warm.

Fougasse is perfect for dipping in olive oil and can be topped with a variety of ingredients. Think of it as a fancy French version of breadsticks.


While not typically associated with French cuisine, Pumpernickel is a dark, dense, and flavorful bread that originated in Germany. However, it is quite popular in France and is often used as a base for hearty sandwiches or paired with cheese and spreads.

Pumpernickel is made with rye flour, which gives it a distinct flavor, and it is typically mixed with other grains and seeds to create a hearty and flavorful bread. It’s perfect for those who are gluten-sensitive, thanks to its rye flour base.

Pain De Mie

Pain de Mie, which means “soft bread” in French, is a soft and fluffy bread that is perfect for sandwiches and toast. The bread is baked in a loaf pan, giving it its signature square shape.

Pain de Mie is often used as a base for French Toast due to its soft and fluffy texture, and it can be found in every French bakery. It’s a great choice when a softer, fluffier bread is required.


There are countless types of French bread available on the market, with many different variations and styles. From the classic baguette to the sweet brioche, French bread is something that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world.

Whether you’re enjoying it as a simple snack or incorporating it into your favorite meal, French bread is always a good choice. While every type of French bread is unique, one thing remains constant – the love for its warm, delicious, and always satisfying taste.

So go out, try them all, and decide for yourself which one is your favorite!

Christian R

Hello, my name is Christian and I'm the owner of (Academy Of Bread). If you can't tell by the name this site it is all about bread, bread making, dough, and anything and everything else bread related.If you love bread then you are in the right place!This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you make and bake the best bread ever! Whether you are baking bread for the first time or just have some general questions about bread or dough I will try to answer them on this site.

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