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.