I’m not ready! According to the calendar we are in fall but it was sunny and in the 70’s last weekend on Fire Island. The day trippers were gone. The diehards; (owners), are here. Its quiet and beautiful. I grabbed my clippers and went around snipping fall foliage from all the neighborhood yards. The rainbow colors of the foliage and the crisp feel in the air, as sad as it was, that summer is over, was awe inspiring.
As an artist, colors are very important to me.The light was luminous.As I trimmed the local foliage, I noticed that the deer returned during mid day.I have always said that Fire Island belongs to the deer in the winter. A few brave deer interacted with humans on this weekend. I’m always inspired to make bread on a crisp fall day.
Homemade French Baguettes
2 envelopes dry active yeast ( 1 1/2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose, plus more for dusting2 teaspoons salt
canola oil, for greasing bowl
cornmeal for dusting pan
3 to 4 ice cubes
Combine the honey, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until yeast is activated and begins to foam, about 5 minutesMix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook and slowly add in yeast mixture. Gradually add 1 cup warm water and mix until dough comes together into a ball that’s not too wet. ( you may not to add all the water.)If sticky add more flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic 2-6 minutes. press thumb into dough when the dough bounces back its done.Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest in a warm environment until double in size, 25-30 minutes. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baguettes by making a flat rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your finger keep repeating folding and sealing. Stretching the rectangular lengthwise until its about 12-14 inches. Fold and seal the ends and place on oil cornmeal and place on sheet tray and allow to double in size, about 25 minutes Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and position your oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. place an oven proof bowl of water on the bottom of the oven. Bake the baguettes until golden brown, about 15 minutes.The sun sets on another beautiful weekend in Fire Island as I head home.