The name of this bread—stecca, or “stick” in Italian—is one I simply made up to describe it, since it has a narrow shape. It’s based on the faster-rising pizza bianca dough you’ll find in the pizza section and is stretched into such a narrow rope that it bakes rapidly. It is also baked on a baking sheet rather than in a pot. In this case, even though I get a good, brittle crust, it’s thinner than most of the other breads in this section. Because I wanted to use it for sandwiches, I was aiming for a lighter-colored, less-assertive loaf of bread to encase the filling ingredients without overpowering them. But the olive oil glaze and coarse salt make it very flavorful on its own.–Jim Lahey
Keep Your Crust Crispy Note
The baguettes may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.
Jim Lahey's No-Knead Small Baguette
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 45 M
- Makes 4 thin stick-shaped 18-inch loaves
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Baguettes with Tomatoes, Olives, or Garlic Variation
Push 10 cherry tomato halves, cut side up, 10 large pitted olives, or 10 lightly crushed garlic cloves into each formed stecca, taking care to space the additions evenly down the length of the dough. Brush each stecca with enough olive oil to create a thin coat of oil on the surface. For the tomato stecca, top each tomato half with a very thin slice of garlic and a couple of fresh thyme leaves, and sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle the garlic stecca with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do not salt the olive stecca—it’s already salty from the olives.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I could not stop eating these baguettes! They combine the flavor of a focaccia with the texture of a baguette and are dangerously easy to make. We ate most of the batch just plain, no toppings or fillings, this bread can really stand alone. The tomato variation is really cute looking, but if you are not too concerned about presentation, just olive oil and rock salt is the best tasting. Note: Keep an eye on them during the last few minutes of baking because the tips can get burnt very quickly.
Wow! What a baguette. We had it plain, and brushed with olive oil and coarse salt. The recipe is very easy to follow, and even beginners can try it to feel the joy having a real, fresh baguette at home. I only had two issues with the recipe: First, you need an excellent memory, since you have to begin about 20 hours before serving time. Second, I suggest doubling the recipe if you’re serving 6 or more. Most of it was eaten in the kitchen before dinner. Even our guest, who seems to be on an eternal low-carb diet, couldn’t resist it.