Pain Pavé are smallish French rustic white wheat breads that are usually flattish, slightly rounded on top, and not very tall, so that they look vaguely like a cobblestone.
Some bakers, though, will call bread that has risen a bit more and is irregularly-shaped a Pavé as well.
Pain Pavé is based on a dough starter, traditionally rye. It is allowed to rise 3 times, an hour each time.
The resultant breads have a honeycombed, cream-coloured crumb with a slightly acidic flavour and a thick crunchy crust.
Some versions include malted wheat flavour now in the base ingredients, and mix in walnuts and / or sunflower seeds as well.
Pain Pavé is particularly popular in Provence in the south of France, and in Ardennes in north-eastern France.
It is often served with olive oil as a dip.
“Pavé” means “cobblestone” and is sometimes referred to as “Pain Pavé au Levain.”