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Recipe for French Bread Sandwich by Apollonia Poilâne

Maison Poilâne have been making bread in Paris since 1932. Their breads are legendary, considered to be amongst the best in France. CEO Apollonia Poilâne shares a recipe that’s all about the bread…

Makes 1 sandwich

Active time: 10 minutes
Cooking: 3 minutes


1 large, thin slice sourdough bread, preferably pain Poilâne (see La Bonne Idée)
2 thin slices sourdough rye sandwich bread with raisins, preferably Poilâne
2 tsp–1 tbsp (10–20 g) salted artisan butter, preferably raw, at room temperature (see La Bonne Idée)


Cut the slice of sourdough bread in half crosswise. Lightly toast each half on one side only, so that one side is lightly crisp and the other remains tender.

Spread the toasted side of both pieces with the butter.

Working quickly, top the buttered sides of the bread with the two slices of rye bread (trim the rye bread if necessary).

Cover with the second piece of sourdough bread, toasted- and buttered-side down.

Press down gently to allow the flavors of the butter to seep into the bread and to let the residual heat from the toasting process diffuse throughout the sandwich.

Serve the sandwich while it is still slightly warm.


The Pain Poilâne loaf (called a miche in France) has a diameter of about 12 inches (30 cm), so the slices are quite big. If your bread is smaller, you may need to use two slices.

We like to use Beurre de Madame, an artisanal raw milk butter from Froment du Léon cows in Brittany.

If you like, replace the butter on one or both of the sourdough bread halves with fork-mashed avocado, cheese, or a vegetable puree.

Extract from Upper Crust: Homemade Bread the French Way, by renowned food writer Marie-Laure Fréchet. Published by Flammarion and available at Amazon, online and high street bookstores (where it can be ordered if it’s not in stock ISBN 9782081517073). Step by step techniques to turn you into a successful bread maker, 100 recipes include delicious desserts and savoury specialities which feature bread. Plus French bread history and fascinating facts… 

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