A friend of mine was reading the September issue of Observer Food Monthly in London some weeks back and sent me a picture of a page in the magazine with my bread on it. To be more precise, it was a picture of a book and the story was an interview with the book's author, Malin Elmlid.
Why a picture of my bread wrapped in parchment paper ended up in Malin's book is a longer story. First the bread's recipe.
RYE SOURDOUGH BREAD
100g rye sourdough starter
160g rye flour
- Mix all ingredients into a thick dough.
- Cover and let rise in room temperature at least 12 hours.
270g rye flour
12g sea salt
- Add the water and flour to the pre-dough and knead it for 10 minutes.
- Add salt and knead it for another 5 min.
- Let the dough rest for 1 h.
- Split the dough in two pieces on a well floured surface.
- Shape into round breads and sift plenty of rye flour on top.
- Cover the breads and let rise until doubled in size (ca. 60-90 minutes in room temperature or in fridge overnight.)
- Preheat the oven to 250°C.
- Put breads in the pre-heated oven and lower the temperature to 200°C.
- Bake the breads for about 60 minutes and let cool on a wire rack until they reach room temperature.
And now, back to Malin Elmlid:
Some years back, craving for good bread, she got into the world of sourdough baking. Being kind of obsessed of learning to make the perfect loaf, she baked a lot and also started to share her breads to friends and neighbours. Someone once payed back for the bread by giving her a ticket to Berlin Philharmonic concert. That was the kick off for a project she named The Bread Exchange.
Malin put up an Fb group to share when and where she’d be baking, while her job in fashion industry took her around the world. She barters her handmade loaves to whatever the trader offers. A secret family recipe, a guitar lesson, a bike repair or a jar of pickles by someone’s dear grandma. Things that mostly have a special meaning to the ones trading with her.
I bumped into her story a few years ago and read on her website, that the one thing she refuses to trade to, is bread. EXCEPT Finnish rye sourdough bread.
So once, visiting my lil sis in Berlin, I packed a rye sourdough loaf in my suitcase and set up a date with Malin. The mulberry bread with British sea salt I got from her, paired with KaDeWe’s cheese counter treasures, was a match made in heaven that afternoon.
After more than 1000 barters, the Berlin-based Swede has just published a book of her crazy cool project. And yes, there’s also the little pic of my rye sourdough bread in it.
THE BREAD EXCHANGE