Sourdough is alive.
The Free Range Cafe sourdough was born the daughter of a Spanish starter near the town of La Duquesa. It is from that town that she got her name.
Since then she has procreated and given rise to many a loaf. Now she is an essential part of the cafe and we feed, water and nurture her. At the Free Range Cafe we make sourdough bread daily, as well as sourdough flats and wraps.
We like to keep things simple. Our sourdough bread has just 3 ingredients: good quality bread flour, sea salt and water. That and the starter of course. We make our dough, prove it for 6 hours then shape it into loaves before proving again overnight. All the proving gives plenty of air pockets and a rich deep flavour.
Sourdough Flats and Wraps
At the Free Range Cafe we did make sourdough pizza. If you want to do so, we suggest using a slightly looser (wetter) version of the bread dough and add some olive oil.
What we do for our flats and wraps is a different dough which includes live yoghurt. This gives the dough more elasticity and holds moisture after baking. Thus the flat bread you end up with is ideal to fill and make wraps with. We also do a brown flour wrap and a vegan one too.
La Duquesa at 4 months old
Lockdown #3... She just keeps eating and growing!
La Duquesa is a hungry girl. During full production she eats her own weight in flour every day. This slows down to a weekly feed if she is kept in the fridge. But that still means she is growing a lot every week.
With the cafe closed due to lockdown we can't use the wonderful starter she produces so we are offering it to the people of Trowbridge for free. If you are local (BA14 or BA15 postcode) and would like to have a baby Duquesa then we will drop one by on Wednesday. Currently we deliver once a week after feeding day.
Fill in the form for a free jar of sourdough starter - delivered on Wednesdays to BA14 and BA15.
Currently we are not able to go further afield. But if you live outside BA15 or BA14 area send us your details through the contact page and we will put you on the waiting list.
What you get for free...
Fill in the form and we will drop a jar of sourdough starter off at your door. You will need to feed your new baby with an equal amount of flour and add some water to make a stiff dough like consistency. She needs feeding the same day you get her and she will need a larger jar or plastic tub to more in to. We would appreciate the jar back once lockdown ends the next time you are in the cafe or passing.
Keep feeding and your starter will double every day. Once you have 4 cups worth, day 2 or 3 probably, you can start to make bread. You take half the starter and make bread, and half to feed and keep for next time. To make bread every day, feed it every day. Otherwise you can "press pause" by poping it in the fridge after feeding. Then take it out again the day before you want to bake. You can only keep it in the fridge for about a week before feeding again. Check online for more information.
Making bread...simple recipes are below and we will be posting videos soon!
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Sourdough cinnamon rolls - recipe
The same as the loaf dough, just add some sugar and a little milk to enrich the dough when you first make it. Then do the first prove for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature.
Now knock back the dough. I normally work this as a sheet for ease. So roll it out as flat and square as you can. Then smother is slightly melted butter before sprinkling with soft brown sugar and cinnamon spice. Be generous.
Roll it up from one edge, nice and tight. Lie out across the worktop and slice through with a sharp knife. Place the rolls in a pre-buttered and lined baking tray. Leave room for them to more than double in size. Leave to prove for 6 to 8 hours - or overnight in a cool space. Bake at 200 degrees non fan for about 40 mins until golden and cooked through. Once out and cooled a little you can glaze and dust with sugar if you like.
Classic Sourdough Breads
Classic Sourdough Bread
Take 2 cups sourdough starter, 6 cups of white bread flour, a generous pinch of sea salt and about 500ml of water. Mix in a blender with dough hook for 8 mins or by hand for 10. You want to achieve a nice creamy thick consistency. Cover and leave to prove for 4 to 6 hours until doubled in size.
Turn out of the bowl and knock back (kneed slightly). Shape in to a ball - or put in a loaf tin if you prefer. Cover and allow to prove for 6 hours or overnight in a cool place.
Place on a baking sheet and score the top with a pattern, or a cross. if using a loaf tin make a deep cut down the centre so that the bake is even. Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees non fan. Check it is baked through (tapping the base should sound hollow). Cool and then enjoy!
Use the same recipe as the bread, but add an extra cup of water. You can going for a very wet, or loose, dough. If you struggle kneading then just stretch it as best you can. Leave to prove for 6 hours.
Then you will need to portion in to loaves. This is hard as its very wet, flour your hands but not the dough or work surface as you don't want to make the dough dry.
If you can, use silicone baking mats with rolling pins underneath to make valleys for the dough to lie in. If don't do this you will end up with splats not baguettes.
Now pop these in the fridge to prove for at least 12 hours if not 24.
After the second prove take out and score the tops deeply with a razor blade or a tomato or bread knife. Any other knife will drag the dough. Bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees fan until golden and full baked. Add a baking tray of water to the bottom of the oven to get a better crunchy crisp crust.