Italian Love Bread - Crusty Baguette for Valentine’s Day
This is the easy way to make a homemade Crusty Baguette with Sesame Seeds. The recipe uses the no-knead method. It requires 4 simple ingredients of flour, yeast, salt and water, and a warm, cosy place to rise. Shape the baguette dough into a heart and dust with sesame seeds on top for extra flavor. It can be made in 4 hours from start to finish and makes a beautiful presentation.
Prep Time 3hours30minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 4hours
Author Homemade Italian Cooking with Cara
3 ½cupsKing Arthur Unbleached Bread flouror all purpose flour
1 1/2cupswarm115 degrees
1teaspoonactive dry yeast1 packet
12+ ice cubes for steaming in the oven
Add warm water, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and top with a tea towel. Place in a warm spot for 2 hours or until the dough as doubled in size. One option is to place the bowl in a cold oven with the interior light turned on. The small amount of warmth from the light will help the yeast bloom.
Using your fist, punch down the dough, and let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and cut in half. Gently roll and push each half into a long loaf shape equal in size and length. Using a kitchen scissor, snip about 5 cuts in the side of each loaf to create texture.
Transfer the baguette to a floured baker’s couche or large cotton dish towel. Cover the loaves and let rise another hour.
Pre-heat the oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack and let heat as well.
Carefully place one loaf on a lightly floured baking sheet and form half a heart. Take second loaf and place it to form the opposite side of the heart. Twist the ends at the “V” and the bottom and tuck under to form one heart-shaped loaf. Make several slashes on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife down the middle.
Whisk egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush on top of the heart bread. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Place the baking sheet with the bread in the oven on the middle rack. Add 6 -10 ice cubes to the hot skillet. They will create steam which helps create a crusty baguette.
Add more ice cubes about halfway through the cooking.