Pains pavés are French rustic white wheat breads, often smallish, that are usually flattish, slightly rounded on top, and not very tall, so that they look vaguely like a cobblestone.
Some bakers, though, use the term pavé also for a bread that has risen a bit more and is irregularly-shaped, or for larger loaves. The term is not regulated, so what bakers and grocery stores use it to mean may continue to stretch and evolve.
The resultant breads have a honeycombed, cream-coloured crumb with a slightly acidic flavour and a thick crunchy crust.
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.
See also: French Breads
“Pavé” means “cobblestone.” The bread is sometimes referred to as “Pain Pavé au Levain.”