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French Bread of all types!

As someone who is really into healthy eating, I found navigating the rich foods of France to be tricky. Eating white French bread at breakfast (however delicious) was not exactly to my taste, and didn't help with energy levels for long adventurous days through this beautiful country. That all changed when we figured out how to ask for wheat bread- pain complet (pronounced 'pan come play'). It was so good and hearty, and helped me get a good start on all our wonderful adventures. It usually came in a loaf, as opposed to a baguette.

The bread we liked the most was pain aux cereal ('pan ow cer ee al'). It came in a baguette like regular French bread but was darker and had all sorts of whole grains and seeds in it-kind of like multi-grain bread in the US but 100 times better. This is the bread I will pine for. Pain aux cereal with hummus was the perfect breakfast or quick snack. It made the BEST picnic sandwiches too. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Anyway, that's my pitch for trying all the different kinds of breads at the boulangerie (bakery). Don't be afraid to go past the regular baguette!

Posted by
27709 posts

Thanks very much for this thread, Lady Jen.

I just got back from a week in the Loire Valley and the host at the chateau where we were staying served us a type of bread I had never seen before. It was very pointy, almost like a pencil, at one end, reasonably normal but quite crispy crust in the middle, and pointy again at the other end. I know she got them from the village boulangerie each morning.

These breads were absolutely fabulous. So tasty, went so well with the homemade fig jam. It is worth going there just for the breakfasts.

I forgot to ask her what they were called. maybe somebody here knows.

We were in the country between Amboise and Blois. I wonder if it was a regional or local bread.

Anybody have any ideas?

Posted by
11450 posts

I don't eat any bread at home. However on vacation in France I love the traditional baguette, and I add protien to sustain my energy levels as even whole grains do not do what proteins do for maintaining a good blood sugar( why I don't eat bread normally)
Cheese ,or pate on bread ,or yogurts ..