Baguettes and Crostinis
I’ll be honest, I put this 52weeks challenge off until the last possible moment because I knew what I wanted to post, and I knew when I was going to be able to do it. This week the theme is appetizers and since I was planning to host a Downton Abbey Viewing Party I knew I would be making some type of finger food. I debated a number of recipes, trying to find something that either the Upstairs or Downstairs folks of the early 1920s would have enjoyed at a gathering. In the end I decided to make some French Baguettes and transform them in to crostinis for a variety of toppings. Crostinis have been around for a few hundred years, and were one way to use up stale bread. The toppings on the other hand vary depending on location and time period, ranging from the ever popular bruschetta to squash puree to watercress egg salad and everything in between. I decided to keep it simple with a classic roasted tomato bruschetta and an eggplant dip.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Form a well in the middle and add the water.
- Slowly mix the water in to the flour mixture until dough is elastic, about 12 minutes. Place in a pre-oiled bowl and turn once to fully coat then cover the bowl in syran wrap and allow to rise in a warm location for 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and divide in to two section. Form the baguettes by pressing in to rectangles and then folding the dough over while pulling out (see video below).
- Place the baquettes on a lightly greased sheet and allow to rise for 30 minutes, then score the bread and allow to rise for a final 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 and place a cake sheet on the bottom rack. Once oven has preheated pour 3 cups of water in to the cake sheet and place the baguettes on the center rack.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 and cook for a final 45 minutes.
- 2 Baguettes, cut in to 1/2 in thick pieces
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 400
- Brush the olive oil on to one side of the baguette pieces and lightly cover with the pepper
- Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for an additional 5 minutes
- While hot brush the top with the garlic cloves
- Serve hot or at room temperature
While doing my recipe search I also found a few classic soup recipes that called for crostinis, so I have a feeling I know where the leftovers will be going. I also want to do more research about the Downton Abbey time period to find out more about what food they enjoyed then, see if I can combine my love of food with my love of history. I’m not sure where that will go, but will most certainly be posted here!