Mix the baguette dough using the instructions in the recipe. Divide the dough in half and use the other half for baguettes. Dust your work surface with flour and place the kneaded dough on the floured surface. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature (75 to 77 degrees F) for 1 hour. The dough will be soft but will not have doubled.
Combine the sesame and poppy seeds in a small bowl. Pat the dough into an even 4 by 6 inch rectangle. Using a plant sprayer, generously mist the dough. Coat both sides of the dough completely with the seed mixture; make sure there are no bare spots. Gently brush the dough on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt.
Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and oil the paper lightly. Stretch the rectangle so that it is a little longer. Using a dough cutter, cut the dough width-wise into twelve strips, almost 1 inch wide. Lift each stick, stretch it slightly so it's 8 inches long and lay it on the baking sheet. Place the sticks on the baking sheet with about 1 inch between them. Let rise for 30 minutes, until they become slightly puffy but not quite fully doubled.
Thirty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a baking stone in the oven to preheat and place an empty water pan directly below the stone. Place the pan of bread on the baking stone. Quickly pour 1 cup of very hot water into the water pan and immediately shut the oven door. After about 1 minute, mist the sticks with water 6 to 8 times, then quickly shut the oven door. Mist again after 1 more minute.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake 8 to 12 minutes longer, until the sticks look golden brown and are getting crisp on the outside. Brush the hot bread sticks with a little olive oil if desired, then transfer them to a rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.
A variation on the baguette .
Combine the yeast and the warm water in a small bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes. Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. Pour the cool water and the yeast mixture over the flour, and mix with your fingers to form a shaggy mass. Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 4 minutes. It should be supple and resilient, but not too smooth at this point. Let the dough rest on the work surface for 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrap or a light towel. (This rest period is the autolyse.) Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. Don't overknead it: The dough should be smooth, stretchy, and resilient.;
Recipe Courtesy of Amy Scherber .
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