Literraly translated by “hand of Nice”, this bread has been quite forgotten as only one bakery in Nice, maybe in all of France, still bake it. According to them, the four fingers represent the four main valleys of the Alps Maritimes area: the Roya, the Tinée, the Vésubie, and the Var.

Main de Nice

A really nice bread with an interesting shape. The “main de nice” comes from the city of Nice in South East France. It is quite hard to find it in bakeries nowadays. A famous picture of Picasso has been taken with this bread (see below the recipe).
TYPE: Bread
COUNTRY: France, Italy
YIELD: 1 main
KNEADING: 8 mins
FERMENTATION: 15 hrs 30 mins
BAKING: 25 mins
TOTAL TIME: 16 hrs 3 mins


  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 140 g water room temp.
  • 5 salt
  • 3 g fresh yeast or 1g dried yeast
  • 40 g liquid starter
  • 20 g olive oil


  1. Mix everything together for 3 min with the first speed then 5 min with the 2nd speed.
  2. Let it rest for 1 hour and 30 min.
  3. Put the dough on a floured workbench.
  4. Make a fold by giving the dough a rectangular shape (the picture comes from a fougasse dough so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like the same).
  5. Fold one third on top.
  6. Fold the other fold on top.
  7. Congratulations, you made a fold. This will give the dough some strength before going in the fridge.
  8. Put the dough in a bowl, cling film it and put in the fridge for 12 hours.
  9. Take the dough out and make another fold.
  10. Let it rest for 1 hour.
  11. Roll it and shape it. Watch the video to know how to do that.
  12. Let it prove for around 1 hour.
  13. Bake for around 25 min at 250°C with a bowl of water in the oven.
  14. Let it cool down on a rack.
  15. Enjoy!
  16. Make sure to check the timelapse video on my Instagram below.


This recipe has a really nice taste due to the liquid starter and the addition of olive oil.

Here’s a picture of Picasso with 2 “mains de Nice” shooted by Robert Doisneau in 1952. The story says that he invited the photographer for breakfast and the baker called those breads “Picasso” because it only had 4 fingers. Robert Doisneau saw an opportunity here to shoot a funny picture.

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