Step 1Combine the vermouth, bay leaf, sea salt and peppercorns in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon cubes and cook 15 seconds exactly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well, then place in a mixing bowl.
Step 2Mash the salmon cubes with a wooden spoon until chunky-smooth. Add the smoked salmon, creme fraiche, 2 tablespoons chives and the lemon juice and mix well. Taste and add the hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice and/or creme fraiche if you like. Chill 1 hour to meld flavors. Makes about 3 cups.
Step 3Return to room temperature before serving. To serve, spread on ficelle slices and sprinkle with the remaining chives.