It started with a desire to infuse olive oil at home. That led to a need to try my hand at making baguettes. Add some wine and cheese, and you get a perfectly good excuse to invite some friends over for an indulgent snack!
I was inspired to infuse my own olive oil after receiving a delicious set of flavored oils from The Tubby Olive. With tuscan herb olive oil, basil olive oil, and roasted walnut oil already in my arsenal, I opted for a slightly different flavor – jalapeño. Making infused olive oil is just about the easiest thing ever. I put olive oil in a glass jar, added a few slices of jalapeño (with the seeds), let it sit for a few days, and then strained out the jalapeño. The result was delicious! The olive oil retained it’s own distinct flavor but also took on a subtle spice from the jalapeño. You can get creative and infuse olive oil with just about any pepper or herb you’d like.
If I was going to infuse my own olive oil, I might as well make my own bread, too. Making bread at home is a lot of work, but seeing the dough rise and then smelling the fresh bread come out of the oven is pretty satisfying! As a homemade baguette newbie I opted for the easiest recipe that I could find and was very pleased with the results of this 4-hour baguette recipe. It took me about 6 hours instead of 4 (don’t panic – most of that time is for the dough to rise and the bread to bake) and I totally failed to create beautiful slashes in the dough that are the quintessential mark of a baguette, but I decided that it didn’t matter because I has made my own bread and it was delicious! The bread was the perfect vehicle for the olive oil and cheese, and all we needed was a nice glass of vino to wash it all down.