Sunday, September 8, 2019

FRENCH BREAD HISTORY: Glossary of French breads

This is an attempt to define every French bread with any sustained history, omitting only certain one-off loaves and purely commercial, branded loaves.

REGIONS AND DATES
Regions or other places are only indicated for loaves exclusively or primarily produced there; some however are known in several different regions, not all of which are enumerated. 

Dates for the appearance and/or disappearance of a specific loaf are rarely well-documented. Where a start date is shown, it typically indicates the first recorded mention of the loaf, not necessarily the start of its production. Similarly, an end date indicates the last date or period when a loaf has been mentioned.  

baguette
20th-present
“Stick; wand; baton”. In its most common meaning, this refers to the long narrow loaf which remains the most well-known French loaf. It is first mentioned at the start of the twentieth century but only appeared in official records in 1920. Initially, it was a long narrow loaf literally like a stick; by 1922, it resembled the modern loaf, typically weighing 250-300 grams, about 80 cm long and with three to five slashes across the front. However, there is no official definition of the baguette.
The original very thin shape became the ficelle, which later took a shorter form.
The same term was previously used for the Italian grissini and for a wooden stick used to track a customer’s purchases.
baguette de tradition
late 20th-present
A baguette made in accordance with precise rules for traditional French bread defined in 1993. Despite the name, it is not based on any early model of the baguette. Notably, it is typically made with sourdough, when the first baguettes were pains de fantaisie and so probably made with yeast.
baneto
Provence
19th-present
Shaped like a hammock. A banneton is the shaped basket French bakers use for letting loaves rise.
bâtard
mid-20th-present
“Bastard". So-called because it was longer than short loaves, but shorter than the baguette. It can be described as a short, squat version of the baguette, weighing the same as the longer bread. (The name has no relation to "bastard dough", the dough that is neither hard nor soft.)
benoîton
late 19th - present
The general term is most associated with a caricatural aristocrat family. Small round rye or more recently stick-shaped roll with raisins.
bille à soupe
late 19th-20th
"Marble/ball for soup". A nut-sized round bread used to put in soup.
biscotte
Late 18th-present
Unlike the original meaning of biscuit, this word does not apply to twice-cooked bread, but to a kind of prepared toast, often gilded as well. It has often been used for health purposes.
biscuit
late Middle Ages-present
"Twice baked". Originally this word (bis-cocto in Latin) applied to bread which was baked twice to harden it for travel or storage. While the French version has sometimes become more refined, it has never been made as the soft variety known in the States.
bisette
Arras
18th
Normandy
19th
In Arras, this was the term for the mid-quality (dark-light) bread in statutes. In Normandy, it is defined only as a dark bread.
bollebrot/boll-brod
Strasbourg
14th-?
White bread.
bonaparte
19th
Short rolls made from hard dough, thick in the middle and pointed at the ends.
Bonébel
Loire-Atlantique 21st
A loaf invented by local bakers, high in fiber, and other nutrients; sometimes made with dried fruit.
boule
?-present
"Ball". In general, this refers to many spherical loaves, but for a long time it implied the smaller medieval version found in innumerable images. The shape itself is found in both Egyptian and Roman images. For centuries, it was the standard form of French loaf and the one most often shown on coats of arms for bakers' trades groups.
boule à fromage
20th
"Ball with cheese." These 30 gr balls were made to eat with cheese.
boulot
19th-present
This term can imply something rounded, but is also the slang term for "work". It has typically been a long but thick loaf, considered a working class staple until recent decades.
bourriol
Auvergne
18th-present
Like a thick crepe, made mainly with buckwheat.
brassedeaux
?-20th
A ring of pastry flavored with orange water. Sometimes leavened with yeast.
bretzel
Alsace
?-present
"Pretzel". The familiar Germanic twist, its origins lost in myth.
brioche
15th - present
At the start of the seventeenth century Cotgrave defined this as a roll of spiced bread. But early on it became known as a richer bread made with eggs and yeast, sometimes with cheese, already gilded.
cadet
Coutances
?-19th
A light bread in a "flute" shape, given only to the sick.
charleston
Aude, Herault
A long white loaf split lengthwise and twice across the front.
chausson aux pommes
19th-present
"Slipper with apples", very literally; in American terms, a French apple turnover, though roughly like a rounded square, not triangular. A roll of pastry filled with apples or, more recently, apple sauce. The modern version, made with croissant dough, is a form of viennoiserie.
choine
Bordeaux
14th?-18th;
Coutances
?-early 19th
'Choine" is a corruption of "chanoine" (canon) and, like pain de chapitre, may have suggested the bread given to canons. In Bordeaux, it was long the finest form of white bread. In Coutances it was only given to the sick. In the Manches region, it was very loosely used to mean many better quality baked goods.
coiffé
Pyrenees-Orientalies
"Coiffed". A round loaf of white bread, folded inward four times.
compiette
Corsica
Made in two detachable parts, with a thick crust.
cônu
Coutances ? - 19th
A bread shaped like a head of cabbage, eaten on feast days. One variety is four-pronged and considered a variant of échaudé.
cordon de Bourgogne
Burgundy ?-present
“Burgundy cord”. See “pain cordon”.
couque
North/Pas-de-Calais
Made like a croissant but of extra-rich dough.
couronne
18th-present
"Crown". A circular bread, sometimes divided into segments, which tended to be thicker after the eighteenth century.
couronne bordelaise
Bordeaux
20th-present
"Bordeaux crown". A ring made up of several balls of bread, made to separate easily. Variants are the "couronne Gasconne" (the Gascon crown), the "couronne Marguerite" ("Marguerite or daisy crown"), and the "pain marguerite".
craquelin
15th-present
"Cracknel." The word implies something that crunches or crackles under the tooth. A very general term for a variety of round, light, biscuit-like breads.
croissant
1840-present
"Crescent". French bakers created this roll as an imitation of the Austrian kipfel introduced by August Zang's Viennese Bakery. Until almost the twentieth century, it was made from a rich dough using yeast and some milk (the original Austrian method). Then recipes began to appear for a version made with laminated dough (a French method) and today the resulting flaky effect virtually defines the croissant (which no longer always has a crescent shape).

The basic recipe remains subject to numerous variations - Urbain-Dubois provides 34 different recipes for croissants.
croissant (regional)
Coutances ? - 19th
A horseshoe shaped bread eaten on feast days. Probably unrelated to the standard croissant.
croupiette
Corsica
?-present
A double-lobed bread with a thick crust.
croute à soupe
18th
"Soup crust". A hardened crust used for soups.
demie
13th
A one obole loaf in Paris, as defined by statute.
denrée
13th
A one denier loaf in Paris, as defined by statute. Over time, the plural of this word took on a general sense in French of "goods".
doubleau
13th
A two denier loaf in Paris, as defined by statute.
échaudé
13th - present
This term ("scalded") originally referred to a bread that was dipped in boiling water. Over time this became a pastry which largely fell out of use in the twentieth century, but still persists in some places.
Most images show this as a three-pronged bread, but in Le Mans in the eighteenth century it was made in a crescent shape.
See also panis melior.
faluche
North
?-present
A very white, slightly flattened bun, sometimes with sesame seeds on it. (The word also refers to a type of beret.)
faminot
19th
A crude buckwheat loaf used during famines.
falue/fallue
Normandy
19th-present
Old word suggesting "stomach". Originally, a flat bread cooked quickly at the mouth of the oven; also described as a very rich, brioche-like bread, almost a cake, used for the Feast of the Kings before the common galette.
fendu
18th-present
"Split". Typically, this is a moderately long loaf, a few inches wide, with a split down the center. This became a very common type in the mid-nineteenth century, remaining important until the start of the twentieth century. Other, narrower and sometimes longer, loaves are also known by this name, having a split down the middle.
fer à cheval
Alsace
?-present
"Horseshoe". A wheat bread in a horseshoe shape.
ficelle
20th-present
"Twine". Originally "baguette ficelle", this is a very thin version of the baguette, typically shorter today. The original baguette was essentially a ficelle.
flado
6th c. - 10th c.?
This word, cognate with "flat", originally referred to a Germanic flat cake, possibly sweetened with honey. It is found in latter monastic records, but over time (as fladone or flaon) came to mean a cream or cheese-filled pastry, known in France as "flan".
flambade
Aquitaine
19th-present
"A flaming." A round flat loaf baked close to the flame; once given to make up a batch with gros pain. Sometimes treated as synonymous with fougasse.
flûte
19th-present
Though Parmentier already compared long narrow breads to flutes in the eighteenth century, the term was first applied to loaves at the start of the nineteenth. For most of that century, when used alone, it appears to have referred generically to any long narrow bread. It was less used at the start of the twentieth, but in later decades referred to a specific loaf almost identical to the baguette, but sometimes slightly lighter, sometimes heavier.
flute à potage

19th-20th
“Pottage flute”. A thin hard-crusted long roll used for soup.
flûte à la provençale
19th
"Provence style flute". A two-layered roll, scored on top. It is not certain that it originated in Provence.
flûte crevée
19th
"Burst flute". Despite its name, this roll only vaguely resembled the long narrow breads known as flutes, being long, but wider.
focacius
Middle Ages
The Latin term for bread cooked under the fire on the hearth (focus). A number of other words have developed from this.
fouace
15th - present
One of several words derived from focacius. The French term may have been adapted in Latin and re-adapted back into French. Though the original bread would have been a hearth bread, the term later referred to breads which could be among the best. Regional variants still exist today.
fouée
West
?-present
Related linguistically to "fouace", but a different bread, a round, flattened bread made hollow like a pita.
fougasse/fougassa
[Provence/Bordeaux]
16th-present
This word appears to have evolved from focacius or a similar word. It originally referred to a bread cooked on the hearth but came to mean a far fancier, almost pastry like loaf, most associated with Provence, a soft, flat loaf roughly in the shape of a large leaf and sometimes flavored with onions or sugar. The similar word fougassa appears in records for Bordeaux for a finer bread.
fougassette de grotillons [gratins/fritons] de cochon

20th-present
“fougassette with grilled lard/pork cracklings”. A special fougasse made after the slaughter of pigs.
fougassette de Pâques
19th
“Easter fougassette”. In Antibes, this was triangular with a red egg at each corner, fastened with dough in a cross. In Nice it was round with a hard-boiled egg on it.
fougasse de Noël  

20th
“Christmas fougasse”. Similar to the fougassette, but with more butter.
fougassette de Provence
16th-present
Diminutive (or synonym?) of fougasse. A slightly oval flat loaf with decorative holes cut in it, almost like a leaf. Sometimes flavored with orange blossom water.
A nineteenth century version was triangular or in an intertwined S. In Nice it was round.
French stick
early 20th
A phrase used in America which very likely referred to the early baguette, but may conceivably have referred to earlier long narrow breads.
gâche
Normandy 16th-present
A flat galette made over time with a variety of grains, including buckwheat, rye, barley and wheat. Pricked to prevent it from swelling.
gâchette
Coutances
? - 19th
A salted and peppered bread eaten on feast days.
galette
general
Specific breads in France have been known as galettes, but in general it refers to flat, rather hard breads including, in archaeological usage, many found from earlier eras.
garo
Coutances
? - 19th
A very white loaf, shaped in an oblong curve, flattened on one side, eaten on feast days.
garot/garreau
Manche
A regional variant of échaudé, cooked in hot water before being baked from a rich dough including eggs. made for feast days.
gastel/gateau
14th-present
The French word which came to mean "cake" originally referred to a more luxurious form of bread, possibly made with eggs, butter or cheese. Wastel is substantially the same word.
gateaux feuillés
14th-?
Literally, "leafed cakes". This is generally thought to refer to a laminated baked product; variants are found later. Despite the name, early versions of this were probably not sweet.
giberne
19th
"Ammunition pouch". A bread made in approximately that shape; only mentioned by Vaury.
grigne des Landes
Lot-et-Garonne ?-present
"Landes split". So-called because it has a split on each side. Also known as a "gascon", or, in one variant, an "agenais". Also, a "deux-noeuds" (two knots).
grignon
19th
A long narrow bread with a split along one side.
grissini/gressin
17th-present
The Italian breadstick, first popular in Paris in the nineteenth century. The word "baguette" was sometimes applied to this bread before the modern usage.
gros pain
16th-20th
Literally, "large bread" but in practice it more specifically referred to darker, coarser bread (which was also typically sold in bigger loaves).
haus-brod
Strasbourg
?
House bread; a mid-quality bread. Pain de menage.
jocko
19th-20th
Originally a long narrow bread that looked, in one size, exactly like a baguette, for a long time this became the most representative French bread to foreigners. It was also made in very long lengths. It survived into the twentieth century, but began to be made in a very short version (perhaps because the baguette so closely resembled its older long form).
kaiser semmel
17th-present
"Kaiser roll". With the kipfel (often made with the same dough), this was one of the best Austria rolls. Though its dough was adopted in different shapes in France as the pain viennois, the familiar round form, scored on the top, survived in France as the pain empereur.
kipfel
13th-present
The Austrian roll which became the French croissant. Though it is documented for centuries, it is not clear what shape it originally had, only that one was in the crescent shape before the siege of Vienna in 1683 which is mythically credited for the roll's invention. The Austrian kipfel could be made in many ways, some sweet, beyond the simple rich roll imitated by the French.
kougelhopf
Alsace
19th-present
Though very like a cake, in fact a brioche style bread with a distinctive swollen form made in a special form. One of several baked goods mythically credited to the 1683 siege of Vienna.
longuet
start
20th-present
"Longish". A small, hard, elongated, yeast-leavened, slightly sweetened bread. Rare today and at least one version is a modern baker's, with no relation to this type.
maennele
Alsace
?-present
"Little men". Shaped like little men, with raisins for features. Mainly for Christmas.
maigret/mégré
Mayenne
19th-present
"Skinny". Long narrow very crusty bread.
main de Nice
Nice
20th
"Hand of Nice". A roll with four "fingers" emerging from a curved half; best known through a photo of Picasso.
maistre
13th-16th
A luxurious form of wafer, either a larger wafer (sometimes made with white wine) or a collection of wafers.
manchette
Normandy
19th-present
"Cuff". But the crusty loaf is shaped like a crown (and looks like the standard couronne).
maniode
Center
?-present
A long split bread of wheat and rye.
melvochinves
Strasbourg
?
Maslin bread for canons.
méteil (Latin Mixtura)
15th?-19th
In English, maslin. Strictly speaking this refers to the grain, a mixture of wheat with either rye or barley. Bread of this sort was typically given to servants in the country.
méture du Béarn
Béarn 19th-present
"Maslin". In Béarn, the maslin is of wheat mixed with corn. Variants of this bread are leavened or not.
miche
13th-present
This word is probably derived from the Latin mica ("crumb"). Its meaning has varied widely by time and region. At times, it means no more than a hunk of bread; often it has implied a better sort of bread. In recent centuries, it has typically applied to the most common large wheaten loaf in a particular city or region, whatever its shape. Since the end of the twentieth century, in Paris it has referred to a large round hemispherical loaf typified by Poilâne's standard, somewhat rustic, loaf.
michette
Nice
?-present
An elongated roll with a split down the middle.
mique
16th-?
A word from Biarne, in the Jura, used for breads made from millet. It is probably a variant of miche.
moricette®/Mauricette
Alsace
1970's-present
A wide oval pretzel-based loaf, used for sandwiches, invented by Paul Poulaillon.
mousic
Nantes region
?-present
A sourdough leavened bread set to rise in a basket and gilded with water.
muffin/mophine
c. 1870 - present
The French adopted the English version of the muffin - a low simple disk - in the late nineteenth century. The American version, far more like a cake, seems to have been adopted in the Nineties.
natte
late 19th - 20th
"Braid". A roll made in a braided shape.
navette
19th-20th
The word means a small boat (as in a shuttle). This was a small split roll.
nieulles/nebulae
13th-16th
A lighter form of wafer (known in Latin as a "cloud").
noël
19th`
A long roll. It does not seem to have any clear relation to Christmas, despite the name.

oreillette
Provence
?- present
A flat cracker-like beignet, served with sugar.
pain azyme
Middle Ages-present
“Unleavened bread”. In its simplest form, this is simply any unleavened bread. In context, it sometimes refers to Jewish matzoh.
pain à café
18th-20th
"Coffee bread". A finer form of bread meant to be eaten with coffee.
pain a chanter
18th-19th
"Bread for singing"; in fact, for chanting hymns. Another word for the Communion wafer. In the eighteenth century, it was not made by bakers but by pastrycooks/waferers.
pain à grigne
18th-19th
"Grigne" refers to an intentionally produced split, including that seen on a fendu. This term sometimes appears to be a synonym for a fendu, but in the nineteenth century was more likely to refer to a very long bread with a split on the side.
pain à gruau
19th
Made with the superior gruau flour. Presumably this was an especially fine version, since the flour was used for other luxury breads as well.
pain échaudé à la duchesse
18th
"Dutchess style bread". A type of luxury roll in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth this referred to a type of pastry. Pain à la duchesse came to mean an early form of the éclair.
pain à la montauron
Paris
17th-18th
Named for Montauron, a prominent financier. One of the first yeast-based pains mollets.
pain à la Reine
Paris
17th-18th
"Bread in the Queen's style". The queen in question was probably Marie de Médici, who some believe introduced the style of yeast-leavened bread with milk which became known as pain mollet.
pain a la Ségovie
Paris
18th
"Segovia-style bread". A fine sort of loaf made with a "head" (a small sphere) in the middle.
pain à [la] tête/Auvergnat
19th-20th
"Bread with a head". A broad loaf with a small sphere of dough stuck on one end; essentially, the old pain de Segovie. A bread of this name was also mentioned in Marseilles in the nineteenth century.
pain à tête, d’Avignon
20th
"Bread with a head, of Avignon". Different from the more common bread with a head, this is a ball-shaped loaf divided into four upper parts.
pain à potage
18th
"Pottage bread", though a modern translation would be "soup bread". But this round, soft bread was distinct from the "soup bread" (pain à soupe) of the time.
pain à soupe
18th
"Soup bread". A bread made mainly of crust to be eaten with soup. Probably very like the later flute à soupe.
pain anglais
early nineteenth
"English bread". The early French version of this was a small oval roll, nothing like the standard pan-shaped loaf (known in France as pain de mie).
pain artichaut
18th-early 19th
"Artichoke bread". A quirky but enduring roll made to approximate the look of an artichoke.
pain au chocolat
20th - present
"Bread with chocolate/chocolate roll"; in American English, "chocolate croissant". In its simplest form, baker's chocolate baked inside dough to form a small roll. In recent decades, it has always been made with croissant dough and considered a form of viennoiserie. Note that several other items were referred to under this name in earlier times, including a loaf (pain) of chocolate, etc.
pain au lait
19th-present
"Milk roll". A small roll, usually elongated, made with milk and sugar.
pain auvergnat
Auvergne ?-present
"Bread from Auvergne". Made with a ball of dough with a disk of dough set on it like a cap or lid.
pain bateau
Brittany ?-present
"Boat bread". Twice-cooked bread (essentially biscuit) used for boats. Sometimes called "pain marin" (sailor bread).
pain bénit
7th c.? - mid 20th
This term, meaning "blessed bread", has long referred to a loaf provided by a parishioner for a service which would then be blessed by the priest and distributed in pieces (chanteaux) among the congregation. Early references to eulogies may have been to such a bread.
pain bigarré
16th-17th
"Pied bread", made with alternate layers of wheat and rye.
pain bis
14th-18th
Dark bread. Sometimes officially listed in statutes. The most bran-heavy of the official wheat breads.
pain bis-blanc
14th-18th
"Dark-light" bread; that is a mid-quality bread with a significant portion of bran.
pain blanc
? - present
"White bread". Aside from its common usage, this has sometimes been an official category in statutes for the best public bread (private bread could be much whiter).
pain blême
17th
"Pale bread". No doubt a yeast-based pain mollet; only named in a seventeenth century statute.
pain bonimate
Brittany
?-present
A spherical maslin loaf.
pain bouli/boulli
Alpes
?-present
"Boiled bread". Boiled water is mixed with the flour; in some versions, the bread is kneaded for seven hours, rests for seven hours and is baked for seven hours.
pain bourgeois
Paris
14th-18th
"Townsfolk's bread", generally a mid-quality bread, sometimes listed in Paris statutes. Sometimes said to be equivalent to pain de ménage.
pain brié
Coutances
? - 19th
14th-present
A "brie" was an iron bar used to knead especially hard bread. Bread made this way (or sometimes using the feet to knead it) was especially popular and considered better quality when hard dough was favored. In the eighteenth century, Malouin said it was falling out of fashion. In Coutances, a large one was eaten on feast days with butter or cider. Today a distinctly shaped version, with two white ridges across a long loaf, is considered a specialty of Normandy (and mechanically kneaded).
Pain cartelé
Normandy
19th
“Quartered bread”.  Considered an elite bread, divided in four to make it crustier (like the Norman version of the pain cornu).
pain chapeau du Finistère
Brittany
?-present
"hat bread of Finistère". A white bread with a ball of dough set on a slightly larger one. Sometimes called a chapeau breton (Breton hat) or pain coiffé (coiffed loaf - see that entry.)
pain chapelé
18th
"Chipped bread". A general term for grated bread, but in the eighteenth century this was a very light roll, flavored with milk or butter.
pain coquillé
Paris
14th-17th
The first term used in Paris for mid-quality (white-dark) bread. Coquille means "shell" and this was, says Cotgrave, a "hard-crusted" bread.
pain cordé
Limousin
?-present
"Corded (twisted) loaf". A short roll with an elongated shape with slashes suggesting twisting. Similar to the tordu du Gers.
pain cordon
Côte d'Or
?-present
"Bread with twisted rope". Dark loaf with a split top, a braid of bread across it.
pain cornu
Paris
18th
Normandy
19th
"Horned bread", though "cornered bread" would be a more accurate description in English, since this pain mollet had four sharp corners.
The Norman version was said to be divided into four horns to create more crust.
pain crestou
Aubrac
?-present
A round roll, half-split in the middle and rising from the split, made with both flour and whole grains.
pain de Beaucaire
Beaucaire
15th?-present
"Bread of Beaucaire". A short split roll, with a large crumb and fine crust. Sometimes called “the good bread of Beaucaire”.
pain de bois
Corsica
"Bread of the woods/of wood". Chestnut bread (though the term is sometimes used for the chestnut itself).
pain de bouche
14th-16th
"Mouth bread", possibly in contrast to trenchers, bread not meant to be eaten. In practice, this was typically the very best bread made (chiefly) for private use. sometimes later said to be synonymous with pain mollet.
pain de brane
18th
A baker's term for a 12 lb bread.
pain de brasse
16th-17th
A very large, coarse household bread. Cotgrave compares it to the English "chesloafe", probably meaning cheat loaf, a low quality English loaf.
pain de brode
Paris
14th-16th
An early official term for the darkest bread.
pain de campagne
Paris
late Seventies-present
"Country bread". A misleading term, since this is a Parisian loaf, a round hemispheric, thick-crusted loaf about a foot across, very like the classic Parisian miche.
pain de Chailly
Paris
14th-17th
Chailly was a town outside Paris now known as Chilly-Mazarin. It was known for its bread, but in early statutes this appears to have referenced the best white bread made by Parisian bakers, not necessarily bread from that town.
pain de chaland
Paris
15th-18th
"Chaland" here may refer either to the barges which brought some bread from outside Paris or a baker's clientele. In general, the term referred to breads from outside Paris that were not known by their town's name.
pain de chapitre
Paris
16th-18th
"Chapter bread", referencing a monk or canon's chapter. Some claim the bread was developed by the baker of the religious chapter of Notre Dame, though it is more likely it simply refers to the better quality of bread given to monks. It was said to be very white and very hard. Cotgrave says it was flat and weighed 16 ounces.
pain de Corbeil
Paris
14th-?
This appears to have been a dark bread, sometimes used for trenchers in the fourteenth century. Corbeil is a town outside Paris.
pain de dextrine
19th-20th
Dextrine is a sugar naturally produced in baking, but added here, making the bread sweeter.
pain de fenêtre
16th-18th
"Window bread", meaning it was put in the window (then just an opening) for display. Cotgrave says it was brown bread, but other sources reference it as a superior form of bread.
pain de festin
Paris
18th
"Party" or "feast" bread. Probably very like pain à la reine; a yeast-based pain mollet.
pain de Gentilly
Paris
17th-18th
"Bread of Gentilly". One of the standard yeast-based pains mollets.
pain de gluten
19th-20th
"Gluten bread". This was made with extra gluten and considered particularly healthy.
pain de Gonesse
Paris
16th-18th
Bread from the town of Gonesse, just outside Paris, was particularly prized in the seventeenth century, though it may already have been made in Paris itself by then. Supposedly the bread's quality came from the local water. It was said not to last very long, which suggests it might have been made with yeast, and Bonnefons includes that in his own recipe for the bread.
pain de la Sainte-Agathe
Var
? -present
"Saint Agatha's bread". This small roll, a hemisphere with a bump on top, looks very like a breast and was baked before the feast of St. Agatha, whose martyrdom included tearing away of her breasts.
pain de maçon
Paris
19th
"Mason's bread". A thick two-pound loaf eaten by laborers.
pain de ménage
Paris
14th-18th
"Household bread", though the term was applied to some mid-quality bread sold in commerce as well.
pain de mie
18th-present
"Crumb bread". Originally, literally a loaf made to provide crumbs for cooking. This loaf took the shape of the standard American or English loaf, uncut, and refers to that general bread today.
pain de mouton
Paris
17th-18th
"Sheep bread", a very small white loaf, glazed and sprinkled with white grains, given by servants to their masters' children on New Year's Day.
pain de munition
18th-20th
"Munition bread"; basically, soldiers' bread. It was defined in various ways by official texts, but always was considered a proverbially bad bread.
pain de pannière
17th
Only Cotgrave cites this: “a great white loaf yielded by the Tenants of St. Gondon sur Loire unto their Lord, yearly, and besides their Cens."
pain de Potensac
Bordeaux
17th
Only Cotgrave cites this: “a delicate bread made in a Village called Potensac, near unto Bordeaux".
pain de rive
17th
"Bank bread". Cooked on the edge (the "bank") of the oven. Mainly know from Moliere's Bourgeois Gentihomme (Act IV, scene 1): "a pain de rive, with a gilded tear on the side, crust rising on every side and tenderly crunching under the tooth".
pain de Sant Jordi
Rousillon
21st
"Saint George's bread". A recent bread invented by a baker of Rousillon (Northern Catalonia) to mimic the colors of Catalonia, using flour, walnuts, sobrassada and gruyère. Made for the saint's feast day.
pain de Segovie
Paris
17th-18th
"Segovia bread". One of the standard yeast-based pains mollets.
pain de tradition française
1993-present
"Bread of French tradition". A term specifically defined by the 1993 law as being made only with flour, leavening, water and salt. (Note that not all breads from earlier centuries would fit these parameters.)
pain d'égalité
1793-1794
"Equality bread". This term was used for various breads defined both locally and nationally by Revolutionary authorities which were typically of poor quality and meant to be the only bread eaten by all classes.
pain d'esprit
18th
"Bread of spirit". A fine rye bread.
pain doux Bigouden/des Gras; Kouign Ened/des Gras
Brittany
?-present
"Sweet bread of Bigouden (or the Gras)". A brioche with some qualities of a standard bread, slightly sweet. A small spherical roll with a rough split down the middle.
pain du roi
18th
"The King's bread". Bread given to prisoners; no doubt of very bad quality.
pain empereur
19th-present
"Emperor [kaiser] roll". This is the French version of the Austrian kaiser semmel; however, it was never as popular as the pain viennois, which has its origins in the same loaf.
pain en bourrelet
18th
"Bread in wreath shape".
pain faitis
Paris
14th
An early official term for the darkest bread. Faitis became "factice", that is "fake", but here simply suggests something made (fait) or shaped.
Pain farain
Lyons
16th - ?
One Lyons statute says it was the same as pain bourgeois. In the seventeenth century Cotgrave defined it as “a very yellow household bread, of the better sort, and made in great loaves,” but without citing a region.
pain ferré
18th
"Ironed bread". In a medieval record, this was believed to refer to wafers made between two hot irons. But in the eighteenth century, it referred to bread burned on the bottom.
pain fraisé
16th-18th
Fraiser (fraser) means to pack something together. Cotgrave defines this "compacted bread" as “a Panado of the crumbs of stale bread soaked a while in 2 or 3 changes of water, then boiled in a pipkin with butter, or any other sweet and fat moisture; or in a Capons broth; and often stirred."
pain gallois
Brittany
1853-present
Originally invented by a M. Gallois, using two parts flour to one of potato. Intended for use during shortages. To complicate matters, gallois means Welsh and one common modern version is essentially a fruit cake.
pain gallu
Vosges
?-present
Made for end of the year celebrations from rye, with honey and larded with raisins and pieces of pear and apple. Known as Raima in the Val d'Ajol.
pain Impératrice
19th-early 20th
"Empress". A crustier version of the kaiser semmel with sides flattened around a main ball, then folded together over it. Very rare.
pain maison
[1993]-present
"House bread". Long an informal term, since 1993, this bread has been strictly defined as bread kneaded, shaped and baked at the bakery selling it.
pain marchand de vin
19th-20th
"Wine shop loaf". In the nineteenth century, wine shops sold meals and this loaf was made for their use. It was typically a very long loaf (sometimes almost two meters) with a flattened profile; but it endured into the twentieth century when it sometimes had multiple slashes, somewhat like a very long baguette.
pain marseillais
Marseilles
20th
"Marseilles bread." A particular kind of bread known by this name is a stick about a foot long with a split down the middle, very similar to a navette.
pain mèjan
Marseilles
13th - ?
A Provençal term for mid-quality bread.
pain mêlé
Mans
18th
A dark loaf (of rye and wheat) which cost slightly more than the regulated dark loaf, and supposedly was created as a way around the pricing for the latter, which was made in an inferior version.
pain michard
Mans
18th
A white bread similar to the Parisian pain bourgeois, slightly lesser in quality than a pain mollet.
pain mirau(d)
Côtes-d'Armor
18th-present
Possibly derived from "mi-rôti" (half-grilled). A dense ball, sometimes sold in strips which can be split. Supposedly 18th century, but using a private secret recipe today.
pain mollet
13th; 16th-19th
"Softish bread". This certainly existed by the thirteenth century, since it appears in a man's name, but otherwise is not mentioned until the sixteenth century, and then sometimes as an alternate term for pain de bouche. The name suggests a softer and so finer bread. But the term took on a special meaning in the seventeenth century, when bakers began to make it with milk and (instead of the classic sourdough leaven) brewer's yeast. Going forward, it referred to a whole class of finer breads which had a variety of names. Surviving into the nineteenth century, it again became a single more specific type of bread.
pain mollot
Troyes
? - 19th?
The most common bread in Troyes for centuries. Probably a good white bread, since the term is very close to "pain mollot".
pain Molzer
Alsace
?-present
A broad triple maslin (wheat, barley, rye) loaf, made in a large circle, with a square of slashes on the surface.
pain paillasse de Lodève
Lodève
?-present
"Straw basket bread of Lodève". The paillasse was a straw bread basket, made with rye straw. The long rather crusty bread supposedly was first made in this basket. Some stories trace this back centuries, but it is only mentioned in recent texts.
pain parisien
20th-present
"Parisian loaf". A long thick loaf, 400-500 grams, 70 cm. long; this appears to be a later synonym for the boulot. Despite its name, it is not found only in Paris.
pain perdu
17th; 18th-present
"Lost bread". Since the eighteenth century, this has referred to variations on what Americans call "bread pudding". But Cotgrave defines it as "broth made of wine, rose-water, and sugar, eggs and bread."
pain piqué
20th
“Pricked bread”.  A long wide loaf pricked across the surface.
pain plié de Morlaix
Léon region
?-present
"Folded bread of Morlaix". A long dense loaf folded over on itself.
pain rennais
Rennes
?-present
"Bread from Rennes". A round rather flat bread with a thick crust.
pain riche
19th
Bread made with milk and yeast.
pain rondin
19th
"Log bread". A short, narrow bread.
pain rousset
16th-17th
"Reddish bread", made with wheat and rye. De Serres says it was given to the gentry for health reasons.
pain saucisson
20th
“Sausage bread”. Presumably referring to the form, which was long but wide (and not really like a sausage). It weighed 2 kg.
pain saucisson (2)
Jura
20th
“Sausage bread”. A sausage cooked inside a long loaf.

pain saumon (pain boite)
Brittany
?-present
"Salmon bread (box bread)". Made in a box-like mold.
pain tourné
Limousin
?-present
"Turned bread". An elongated, crusty roll with a twisted shape.
pain viennois
1840-present
"Viennese loaf". This began as the bread sold by August Zang, who used the standard rich Viennese dough used for the kaiser semmel but made his bread mechanically (and so in rectangular form). French imitations took various forms, often small elongated rolls. Today the pain viennois resembles a baguette, but has a more varnished surface and multiple slashes. This may have led to the myth that Zang introduced the baguette.
panis benedictus (see pain bénit)


panis cum toto
Marseilles
13th - ?
"Bread with everything" (whole wheat bread)
panis melior
10th-12th?
A term ("better bread") used at the monastery of Cluny for what was probably an echaudé.
panis quadratus
Roman Empire 1st century - ?
Best known as the segmented bread found at Pompeii, this loaf existed elsewhere in the Empire, including, per a nineteenth century drawing of a Gallo-Roman bas-relief, in Gaul.
petit pain
16th-present
"Small loaf". In the most general usage, this has come to mean a roll. But from the seventeenth century through the eighteenth it referred to the variety of luxury rolls known as "pain mollet". For almost two centuries, it also applied to a class of bakers who made the more luxurious bread
pigeon
Coutances
? - 19th
A feast day bread made in the shape of a resting dove from the same dough, with eggs and milk, used for the local pain bénit.
pistolet
North
?-present
"Pistol". A small spherical roll with a split down the middle.
plié de Cherbourg
Normandy
"Folded of Cherbourg". Like the folded bread of Morlaix, but made, by special privilege, with sea water, thus escaping the tax on salt. Because of its resemblance to a bicorner hat, it is sometimes called a "pain Napoléon ".
polka
18th-present
This name is applied to any bread of any form which is cross-hatched across the surface in a distinctive pattern. A variety with a somewhat coarser hatching is typical of Val du Loire.
pompe à huile
Provence
“Oill pump”. A round scored somewhat flat bread, sweet and flavored with orange blossom water. Made for the holidays.
porte-manteau
Haute-Garonne
?-present
"Coat rack". Long white or dark bread flattened at the ends, rolled onto itself.
Porte-manteau de Toulouse
Toulouse
Long bread rolled up at both ends, sometimes called a "telephone".
poscocho'u/pasaxo'u
Averyron
19th-present
Regional word for the bourriol.
préfou
Vendée/Orléanais
?-present
Slightly leavened loaf, long and hash-marked, flavored with garlic and butter.
profiterolle
17th-early 20th
Today this refers to a cream filled pâte à choux, but it originally referred to a bread meant to be put in soups. This was hollowed out and filled with various stuffings. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was already sometimes filled with chocolate and becoming a dessert. Very exceptionally, it could also refer to a bread baked under the coals.
pumpernickel; pain bon-pour-nicol
16th-present
One variant of pumpernickel, back to the eighteenth century, was "bread good-for-Nicole". Originally known in France as a bread of Westphalia, made with barley, rye and buckwheat.
quatre-banes
Herault
Made with two pieces of dough crossed and marked with a cross before being flattened.
ravaille
Ariege
?-present
A white roll with cheese.
régence
Picardy
?-present
"Regency". A spherical roll made in attached rows.
Richelieu
Paris
late 19th-early 20th
A long roll created by a later owner of Zang's bakery on the rue de Richelieu.
rockenbrot
Strasbourg
14th - ?
Maslin bread (wheat and rye).
royaume
Provence
A brioche-like sweetened bread, made in a ring.
saucisse-sandwich
20th
"Sausage-sandwich". A bread 15 by 6 cm baked around a fat sausage, once sold in bars and at charcutiers.
schwarzbrod
Strasbourg
late 18th - ?
Black bread.
seda
Cantal
?-present
Bread made with a great deal of bran, leavened in rye straw baskets, with a cross drawn in the flour covering it.
sigilus albus
Strasbourg
Middle Ages
White bread for canons.
simnel/simenel
13th-19th
In Latin, simila denoted the whitest flour. Several words derive from this, including the French word simenel (simeneaulx is one plural), which appears early on in municipal records as one of the whitest breads beyond the standard white bread.
Norman variants are chemineau and queminel.
smalleib
Strasbourg
?
One of two types of rye bread for canons.
souflame/soufflâme

?-present
"Under flame". A bread made at the mouth of the oven or on hot coals.
spendebrot
Strasbourg
Middle Ages
One of two types of rye bread for canons.
sübrot/sürbrot/ süweck
Alsace
19th-present
“Sü” is the French sou; “brot”, bread. The name suggests a one-sou bread. It is made by superimposing two layers then cutting them out in lozenges before baking them. Mainly used for breakfast.
symelbrot
Strasbourg
14th - ?
White bread
tabatiere
Jura
?-present
"Tobacco pouch". A roll with lid of bread folded over from one side.
tignolet
Southwest
A long-lasting, full-formed crusty loaf, used by mountaineers and shepherds.
tire-bouchon
19th-20th
"Corkscrew". Not as one might expect a corkscrew shaped bread, but a short narrow roll, scored lengthwise.
tordu de la lozère
Lozère
"Twisted bread of Lozère ". Twisted twice.
tordu du Gers
Gascony
?-present
"Twisted of Gers". A short roll with an elongated twisted shape, very crusty and with a wide crumb.
torquette
Coutances
? - 19th
Shaped like a torque or necklace, eaten on feast days.
tortelli
Chartres
late Middle Ages?
Breads for Pentecost, Purification, Epiphany and Saint Stephen. Congregants gave these to churches, which often distributed them to the poor.
tortula
10th-12th?
A word used for a bread at the monastery of Cluny, possibly a hearth bread.
tourte
10th c.-present
This word has a long history in French baking and typically refers to a coarse, low hemispherical loaf. It was often very large.
Some coats of arms for bakers' trades groups show tourtes instead of the more common boule.
tourteau
Chartres
late Middle Ages? - The Revolution
Given as to the local lord at Christmas (as panis natalitius), though money sometimes was given instead.
tourteau-Dieu
Falaise
14th c - ?
Very likely a low hemispherical loaf like the standard tourteau, given by the bakers of Falaise to the leprosarium on Saturdays.
tourton
Nantes
?-present
Large slightly sweet loaf with dark reddish crust.
tras
Coutances
? - 19th
A shape approximately like a yard winder, eaten on feast days.
trencher (tranchoir)
13th - 15th
Trancher means to slice and this term generally refers to supports (of metal and wood as well as bread) used (in theory) for slicing meat. Despite its close association with the Middle Ages, the bread trencher only appeared towards the end of the period and was only used for a limited period of time.
tresse
Toulouse
?-present
"Braid". A braided bread made with anise.
turta
10th-12th?
A variant of the word "torte" used at the monastery of Cluny, probably for a rye bread divided into four parts.
viennoiserie
mid-20th- present
"Viennese stuff". Originally this term referred to light entertainments from Vienna; it was not applied to pastries until well after the croissant (its most prominent component) was made with laminated dough. Many mistakenly translate the term as meaning Vienna-style baked goods, but in fact it is typified by the use of laminated dough, a French method. It should not be confused with the nineteenth century category of pain viennois.
wafer
7th?-19th
The first known wafer (dough cooked between hot irons) was the unleavened communion wafer which had come into use by the ninth century, but probably before. This soon took on a secular form which evolved into a treat closer to a pastry which remained a popular street food into the nineteenth century.
wastel
Douai 15th - ?
A variant of gastel (cake) found in some northern cities; a very fine white bread.
zwieback
Alsace
19th-present
A Germanic bread very much like a hard toast, similar to the biscotte. Used at one point in Paris tea salons.