With the opening of Café Bautier, we’ve been testing recipes as well as ingredients regularly. Similar to the process of finding local suppliers and partners for the furniture design, we seek out Belgian produce for the food and cakes which are being served in the café. The principle of supporting local manufacturers and producers runs like a red thread throughout the Bautier concept, and during a time where we are confronted with the challenges of being dependent on foreign resources and products, this makes more sense than ever.

Although the original recipe is imported from Italy, the flour used in the focaccia bread offered at Café Bautier is local, having grown on Belgian fields. Located in the Flemish countryside called Pajottenland, not further than 35 km away from Bautier, a group of friends, farmers, millers and bakers, decided to create a co-operative, producing organic grain and flour. In buildings, dating back to the 18th century, they grind local grain and give life to a historical site and activity. The mill is called Flietermolen and was originally used as a windmill, today it runs on electric power.

The aim at Flietermolen is to develop a durable production, creating harmony between people, society and nature, and anybody who wishes to participate in such a project can join by becoming a cooperative; Bautier has also taken part, being one of the current 150 cooperatives. Flietermolen produces different types of organic flour which, all depending on the type, can be used for baking bread and pastry. One of the future ambitions of the co-operative is to set up their own bakery, but for now they proudly supply selected shops, bakeries and restaurants around Belgium, as well as selling the flour directly to customers at the mill.

The white Flietermolen flour, used in the focaccia at Bautier, is the perfect ingredient for this type of bread. The flour has not been added additives or preservatives, it’s a pure and clean product, and with focaccia containing just a few elements: flour, water, oil and salt, the quality does make a difference. Having decided for the focaccia sandwiches as a menu staple in the café, Marina Bautier has spent hours experimenting and improving all aspects of the making and baking, like how to support the fermentation process of the sourdough and how to obtain a crust with just the right amount of crustiness.

The Bautier building has reached a next level of cosiness, with the constant odeur of freshly baked bread. From Wednesday to Saturday, the café menu includes two different types of focaccia sandwiches, each containing a savoury mix of fillings like this weeks: pickled beets, feta, aïoli, olives and fresh herbs or fresh goat cheese, walnuts and rucola. These sandwiches can be enjoyed in the café or as take out, knowing that the main ingredient has been grown just outside Brussels.

Café Bautier. Wednesday-Saturday 10am to 6pm
(the café closes at 4.30pm on weekdays)