If there's one thing I'm guilty of, it's overlooking the obvious stuff. Or, at least, the stuff that seems obvious to me. I've been making these baguette crackers for years, and I always figured that everyone knew about them. Then one day I was helping my mother-in-law prepare for a party, and she was short on crackers. I grabbed a baguette, whipped these up real fast, and voilà! I didn't think it was a very impressive trick, but everyone else acted like I'd just pulled rabbit pâté out of a hat.
Not only are these easy to make, they're better than most of the store-bought cracker options out there, which often taste stale and lifeless even immediately after you open the stay-fresh packaging. These are kind of like homemade Melba toasts, with way more personality.
The steps couldn't be simpler:
First, slice the bread. Even a crappy supermarket baguette, like the one pictured here, turns into excellent crackers, or croutons, or toasts, or whatever you want to call them. I like to cut on a slight bias to get more oblong pieces.
Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. You don't have to saturate them, or even coat them evenly: As long as they're somewhat consistently drizzled, the oil will spread itself out as they bake in the oven.
If you really want to be fussy, you can use a pastry brush to apply the oil, but I never bother with that.
Then season the bread slices on both sides with salt and pepper.
Toss them in a 350°F oven and bake, rotating the sheet front to back and flipping the toasts halfway through, until they're browned and crispy.
Now...um...does anyone have any of that pâté?