Food in Berlin: Malin Elmlid’s Bread Exchange

This is Malin Elmlid cutting one of her overly delicious breads, just taken from the oven, for us to eat with fresh butter in a short break from what is only to be called a baking-franzy. This Swedish bread-maven agreed to prepare 30 loafs of her special sourdough bread for the opening of Boros Collection last Saturday and I just shortly stopped by to watch her scaling, mixing and folding and distracted her by asking many many questions about her love for the baked goods and her bread exchange project.

Malin started this project in the end of 2009 and the concept is as simple as it is intriguing. In her Berlin home or on the road she bakes bread from sourdough and offers it for trading, not for buying. What is special about her bread is that it is made without any yeast, just sourdough, which means it is a lot more simple and pure than the most bread you’ll find on the market. The process of making it though, is not schedulable but depending on temperature, humidity and many other factors only experience will teach you to understand. Since the baking is very time consuming (it needs to be folded every 20 minutes in the first hours) and Malin is only using the best ingredients (she can talk for hours about where to get the best flour), selling it just doesn’t make sense to her. But trading the most simple yet social dish we have, does even more. After all, bread is something to be shared.

Her bread-endeavors lead to her meeting all kinds of people involved in bread, from millers to bakers (she interned at Manfred Enockson) to chefs and has made friends and fans around the world. And so she’s currently working on a book, telling and introducing all the people and their stories she met working on her baking skills and bread exchanging.

I guess some of you will want to try one of those perfect baked goods, filled with Goji berries and rosemary, or walnuts and apricots, or mulberries or covered with a leaf of sage? The easiest way to follow her baking is to follow her blog on and join her Facebook group “The Bread Exchange” to get noticed when she’s baking in Berlin (or elsewhere!) and contact her for a trade. Trading goods can be various, Malin is excited what you have on offer, she accepts guitar lessons as gladly as she welcomes edibles, like a special honey from your hometown or 2kg of quinces from your grannies garden, just be creative.