I’ve been on such an appetizer kick lately. Tonight’s dinner consisted of spinach artichoke dip, tomato basil bruschetta with crostini and a salad (recipes for dip & bruschetta here). We originally had a 9 grain baguette that we bought, but it was getting extremely low, so I figured I’d make a baguette so we wouldn’t run out for our dinner, since the bread was a pretty key ingredient of it. With a new rosemary plant and basil plant that I got at the farmer’s market yesterday, this baguette gave me the perfect excuse to use both of them. I love love love breads that are infused with herbs, and this one is no exception.
1 T active dry yeast (1 package)
1 cup lukewarm (110ºF water)
1/2 t honey
about 3 cups white whole wheat flour (plus more for rolling/shaping)
2 t sea salt
1 egg, beaten with 1 T waterCombine the yeast, sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until frothy. Combine the flour, salt, basil and rosemary in the bowl of a stand mixer. With your stand mixer running (with the dough hook), add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 2 minutes at low speed. It should form a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for about 2 more minutes at low speed, adding more flour if it is too wet, or water a tablespoon at a time if it is too dry.
Place the dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Allow it to rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until it doubles in size). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into two pieces. Roll each piece out into an oval (about 15×8 inches). Roll the oval from the long side into a long cylinder. Pinch the edges to the dough.
Place dough with the seam side down onto a parchment lined baking sheet or well greased baguette pan. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for another hour or until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF about 10 minutes before you bake the bread and place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Slash each loaf diagonally with a sharp blade, and brush each baguette with the egg wash. Place the bread in the oven, and put about a cup of ice cubes into the shallow pan to make steam.
Bake the bread for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden on the outside. Cool on a wire rack so it does not get soggy.