Food is an excellent way to connect to your natural environment.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour can substitute bread flour, French flour, or Italian flour
- 1 cup acorn flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½–2 cups warm water slightly warmer than room temperature
- Start by making a poolish, a bakers’ term for a fairly wet sponge. In a glass bowl, mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add water and use the handle of a wooden spoon to cut through the dough, stirring it up until it’s the consistency of sticky porridge.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set in a safe place to proof overnight or up to 12 hours. (I use my microwave as a proofing drawer. Just don’t turn it on.)
- Before kneading, place a piece of parchment on a baking tray. Using a bread scraper or spatula, scoop the sticky dough onto a heavily floured surface. Making sure your hands are also floured, move the dough around, folding it just until it comes together, about 2 minutes of light folding until it becomes a little easier to handle. It’s a very sticky dough. Fold it into a ball, and divide into 2 parts, reforming each half into a ball again.
- Lightly roll and pull the dough with floured hands into a rough baguette shape. Do the same with the second ball. Carefully lift your baguettes onto the parchment, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit for another hour.
- After 50 minutes, preheat oven to 450°.
- Fill an oven safe dish halfway with water to create some steam to give the baguette a nice crust.
- Using kitchen scissors or a bread lame, cut the top of the baguette every few inches. If using scissors, tuck the corners down so they’re not sharp when they bake.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
- To make croutons: Cut baguette into ½-inch wide slices, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and toast in the oven at 450° for a few minutes until golden, then flip and cook the other side for a few minutes and serve with soup.
Sara Calvosa Olson is a Karuk writer living with her soulmate, raising two large teenage sons. She has a regular column in News From Native California that explores California Indian foodways and reconnection to traditional Indigenous ingredients. Chími nu’am! (Let’s eat!)