This rather unique bread uses vegetable stock instead of water to hydrate the dough. It gives the bread a fantastic flavor, rich and fragrant. It's meant to be the perfect complement for a summer tomato, but it would pair well with any fresh veggies, and maybe some soft cheeses as well. The combinations are deliciously endless!
This recipe marks a first for me: homemade stock! It's one of those things I always thought of making but never did, until now. I've never bought so many veggies at once before. Leeks, onions, carrots, and fennel. Lots of chopping. My food processor wasn't big enough to finely chop all the veggies at once. In fact, it took 5 batches. I couldn't even fit all the chopped veggies in my 5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven! I had to bust out my big pasta pot. As the stock simmered away, it filled my kitchen with an amazing aroma, very homey and warm.
After cooling, the stock was ready to use. I froze the unneeded portion to use in soup or risotto later. Using stock instead of water really changes the flavor of the bread. This dough wasn't sticky, it was easy to work with. I was a bit off on the portioning so the three demi baguettes weren't even, but they all baked up beautifully.
It was all I could do to wait long enough for the bread to cool before trying it. The crumb was actually a bit yellow in color from the stock. I smeared some butter on it, and it was delicious! My husband and I devoured one demi baguette in minutes. I wish I had some brie or even Laughing Cow cheese to spread on the bread. I'm not a fan of tomatoes, so I didn't make the suggested tomato sandwich, but I'm sure it would be delicious.
Although I won't make stock from scratch just to make this bread, if I have stock already I'd definitely make it again.