French Bread Vs Sandwich Bread: The Battle of the Rolls

Sandwich with white sandwich bread

Bread is one of the most consumed food items in the world. It’s versatile, filling, and has a variety of textures and flavors. However, there’s an ongoing debate about which bread is better for making sandwiches: French bread or Sandwich bread.

While some people swear by one, others prefer the other. Let’s explore this never-ending argument and find out what makes each bread unique and delicious.

The Differences in Ingredients

The first and foremost difference between the two bread types is the ingredients used. French bread is made with wheat flour, water, yeast, and salt. The quality of the flour and the type of yeast used can affect the taste and texture of the bread.

French bread has a lean dough, meaning it has no added sugar, butter, or milk. This minimalistic approach gives a crusty exterior and a chewy interior.

On the other hand, sandwich bread has a richer taste due to the addition of sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Sandwich bread is made with all-purpose flour or bread flour and has a lesser amount of yeast.

The addition of sugar and often honey gives the bread a sweeter taste, which pairs well with savory fillings like ham, cheese, and lettuce.

Texture and Appearance

The texture of the bread plays a crucial role in the overall sandwich experience. French bread has a thin, crispy crust with an airy, slightly chewy crumb. It’s perfect for soaking up sauces and gravies.

The crust is the most defining feature of French bread, and it’s often slashed before baking to allow the internal moisture to escape, adding to the texture and appearance of the bread.

Contrarily, sandwich bread has a softer crust and a finer, more uniform crumb. The texture of sandwich bread is denser, making it more suitable for spreading butter, jams, or peanut butter.

Sandwich bread is typically baked in a loaf pan, with each slice measuring an even thickness, making it perfect for making sandwich layers.

Versatility and Pairing

French bread and sandwich bread are versatile, and they can be paired with a variety of fillings and accompaniments. French bread is commonly paired with cheese, butter, or pâté.

Pâté is a French delicacy, which is a spreadable paste of seasoned meat. Sandwich bread, on the other hand, is popularly used in sandwiches that are often filled with deli meats, cheeses, and vegetables.

Furthermore, French bread is best served with soups and salads, while sandwich bread is perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, club sandwiches, and the like. Sandwich bread is also used to make toast, which is a favorite breakfast item for many.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional value, sandwich bread has a higher calorie count due to the added ingredients like sugar and butter. French bread, on the other hand, is leaner, lower in calories, and has a higher fiber content.

Both bread types are a source of carbohydrates, and their nutritional value varies depending on the type of flour used.

Additionally, for those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity, sandwich bread is a safer option as French bread is made with wheat flour, which contains gluten.

Cultural and Historical Significance

French bread’s history dates back to the 18th century when the government of France regulated the price of bread to ensure that it was affordable for everyone. To this day, French bread is an iconic symbol of French cuisine, be it a baguette or a boule.

Sandwich bread has its roots in America, with the first loaf of sliced bread hitting the shelves in the 1920s. This innovation led to the popularization of sandwiches, and in turn, sandwich bread became a staple in American households.

Baking Techniques and Tools

Baking French bread requires some level of skill, as the bread can be sensitive to over-kneading, over-proofing, or under-baking. French bread is often baked on a stone or a baking tray in a preheated oven.

The ideal oven temperature is around 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and the bread is usually baked for 25-30 minutes.

Sandwich bread, however, is much easier to bake as it can be made using a bread maker, a stand mixer, or by hand. Sandwich bread is typically baked in a loaf pan, and the hardest part is waiting for it to rise.

The ideal oven temperature for baking sandwich bread is 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s usually baked for 30-35 minutes.

Shelf Life and Storage

The shelf life of French bread is shorter than that of sandwich bread as French bread has no preservatives or additives. French bread can last for a day or two and should be stored at room temperature in a paper bag.

Sandwich bread, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life and can last up to a week or two. It can be stored in an airtight container or plastic wrap to keep it fresh.

Artisanal vs. Industrial Production

French bread is typically associated with artisanal baking, where bakers focus on quality and authenticity. Many French bakeries still use traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations.

In contrast, sandwich bread is often mass-produced and manufactured, making it readily available in supermarkets and grocery stores worldwide. Industrial production of sandwich bread ensures uniformity in texture, size, and shape.

Regional Variations

Various regions have their take on French bread or sandwich bread, and each type has regional specialties. For example, in France, bakers often make baguettes or boules, while in America, sandwich bread variations like white, wheat, and sourdough are popular.

Global Popularity and Consumption

French bread and sandwich bread are both popular worldwide, with people from different regions enjoying them. In the US, sandwich bread is the most commonly consumed bread, while in France, baguettes, boules, and rustic loaves remain favorites.


In conclusion, French bread and sandwich bread are two different types of bread that serve different purposes. While French bread has a crispy exterior and chewy interior, sandwich bread has a pillowy texture and a uniform crumb.

French bread is best served with soups and salads or paired with cheese or pâté, while sandwich bread is perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches or hamburgers, among other dishes.

Overall, it’s worth trying both types of bread to appreciate their unique qualities and find which one suits your personal preference. But let’s be real, is there anything better than a perfectly toasted slice of sandwich bread filled with your favorite toppings?

Probably not.

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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