Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

October 8th, 2014

Eat/share/listen with Malin Elmlid @ The Bread Exchange (plus giveaway)

This month I had the pleasure of catching up with the lovely Malin Elmlid of the The Bread Exchange. I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of food to bring people together. And Malin’s story of how she traveled around the world, trading bread and stories is a beautiful example of this – it really shows how the simplest things in life bind us together. For regular updates, you can follow The Bread Exchange on Facebook and Instagram – and the book is now out in Europe, you can buy it here.

Rachel Khoo - Malin Elmlid The Bread Exchange

Image credit Katrin Weber

(eat) my fail-safe dish…? A really good loaf of bread, served with my favourite butter whipped up with sea salt is not only fail-safe but also one of the few dishes I can eat endlessly and never get tired of. I see bread as a main course with well-paired sides, rather than a side dish eaten served with your meal. I guess that’s what happens when you find a really really good loaf of bread.

(eat) favourite restaurant/cafe/bar and why…? From experience I would answer a café from my hometown, Krusenstjernska Gården in Kalmar. It is a garden café located in the old part of the city Kalmar in Sweden. The café is not that easy to find since it is hidden behind a high wooden wall.

What I love about this place is the simplicity and closeness to the garden. There is nothing extraordinary about the food apart from that it is homemade; they make their own classic Swedish cookies and kanelbullar, and they only server filter coffee. You take your tray with you into the gated garden and sit down with your “fika” (“break”) under a tree. I can stay for hours with a good book.

Rachel Khoo Malin Elmlid bread basket

Image credit Fred Bschaden

(share) can’t get through the day without… A walk around the block. I love to arrive somewhere and to go out for a wander. I used to take my bike everywhere, but nowadays I plan a little bit more time and try to walk as much as possible. I have realised this is one of the best ways for me to calm down, so I guess I could not do without it ☺

(share) recent inspiring find I’ve discovered online… I actually spend very little time online these days (apart from news and travel research) so I would rather share what I find offline. I pick up most of my food inspiration from outside the kitchen, mainly when visiting markets and dedicated producers. I love to just be outside; meeting and listening to people, and spending some extra time talking with my favourite fish shop or butcher. I really do not want to rush when I buy food.

If I could give one offline tip it would be Lotta Lundgren’s latest book “Tio lektioner i matlagning” (Ten advices on cooking) which hopefully will be out in English soon – it’s a really good read!

Rachel Khoo - Malin Elmlid The Bread Exchange travels

Image credit Farzana Wahidy

(listen) a tune I turn up on the radio… Anything with a heavy baseline and a beat deep enough to make me move my hips.

(listen) a quote that resonates with me… “Everything great that happened in the world first took place in someones imagination“ Astrid Lindgren.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Malin!

Giveaway alert – please note this competition is now closed.

Malin has very kindly agreed to give away two copies of her beautiful new book. For your chance to win, just post a comment below saying what your favourite bread – or dish involving bread – is and why. Bonus points for those who share the competition on your own social media channels.

The competition is open until Wednesday 22nd October, where I’ll be drawing a winner. Make sure to include your email address when you comment, so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Please note this competition is only open to those living in Europe. 

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35 thoughts on “Eat/share/listen with Malin Elmlid @ The Bread Exchange (plus giveaway)

  1. I discover Malin’s work in a french TV show called “Les nouveaux explorateurs”. There were so many beautiful things in what she said. Thanks a lot for this giveaway. My favorite bread is probably the “Schwarzbrot”, traditionnal deutsch brot, made with wholemeal and treacle. The fragrance and flavor of this bread changing with the time and you can keep it for one or two weeks without problem.
    A french Fan 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for making me aware of Malin’s story. I would love to get her book. As to the bread… that’s a fairly easy one. My childhood memories are bond to the smell of fresh baked ‘lepinas’ all over the streets in my home-town in Bosnia. Especially during the Ramadan, the muslim fasting month, the bakeries would bake a special type of lepina, covered with black-seeds… the scent of which is to die for. It’s a small, light, airy loaf of white bread, and my grandmother would make a dip, of melted butter and sourcream to go with it. Pure bliss :-)!

  3. like Malin, I am trying to spend as much time offline for inspiration, I found I was spending way too much time online and indoors!… also like Malin, simple fresh loaf with salted butter (irish butter) will do it for me everytime.

  4. My favourite bread without a shadow of a doubt is sourdough. A good sourdough bread with salted butter is a perfect combination.
    As far as bread recipes go, I love bread and butter pudding OR your baguette dumplings you serve with the boeuf bourguignon, Rachel!

  5. My favorite is a slice of my father’s homemade sourdough bread slathered with sea salt butter from Brittany because it combines deliciousness with family love and childhood memories.

  6. A really good baguette (preferably from Boulangerie St Anne in Paris) with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. Delicious!

  7. My favorite bread… hmmm.. rustic, country Greek bread made with semolina flour. But I’m a lover of all types of bread as long as they have a good crust and a dense crumb.
    Thanks for introducing me to Malin, Rachel.

  8. I love the 2nd photo of Malin in the traditional kitchen- where was it taken? It’s one of those photos that makes you want to be overhearing the conversation.
    My favourite bread it soda bread – it was designed to be made in cold drafty houses and got me through university. You can jazz it up or simply serve with jam and butter.

  9. Lovely images and inspiring story, thank you for sharing this!

    At first I thought it would be difficult to decide on a favorite bread memory, however thinking back to the bread recipes I’ve enjoyed over the years and in many countries (I’ve been very fortunate to live in 5 countries and travel to many more), it was only a few moments before my heart warmed when I thought of my mom’s homemade whole wheat bread. When we were little, she would make 6 loaves at a time (bread gets eaten pretty fast by five children). She would use a mix of light and darker wheat flours, and mix and rise the bread in a large white plastic tub, which I loved to play with when empty. She taught me how to make the bread when I was in grade school. I have fond memories of kneading and separating the dough and rolling it into the lovely ovals before baking.

    When the bread came out of the oven, we had to fight the urge to touch it for a few minutes as it cooled, but as soon as it was able to be handled, we would cut warm slices, spread some butter and oh, it was heavenly! I can taste it now! The perfect weight, light but firm, just the right density, a wonderful flavor, just the right amount of salt, and sturdy enough to handle a good spread of peanut butter or a light dusting of cinnamon & sugar, or my sister’s strawberry jam.

    In my moves and travels, I have enjoyed some truly amazing breads around the world (Turkish, Lebanese, Dutch, German, French, Australian, Romanian, etc) but my mom’s bread takes me home. I still insist she make it when I go home.

  10. Bread-making has become a competitive issue in our family..both my sons bake their own bread and have introduced me to the wonders of sourdough. (It’s a past-time that seems to have by-passed my daughters.)I learned to bake bread 38 years ago in Sweden where I was working as an au-pair. A neighbouring farmer’s wife would invite us over on baking day and her table would be laden with all manner of Scandinavian delights.I fell in love with Swedish coffee bread, but my absolute favourite would be Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar)…light buttery bread with swirls of sticky, succulent cinnamon!As my children were growing up, I would make double the recipe in the hope of freezing half…the buns never ever got as far as the freezer!
    (ps. Being off work, post- operation, I have just seen Rachel Khoo’s Little French Kitchen for the first time.Impressive!)

  11. My favourite bread… well, I don’t think I have one, but I’d love to eat again a traditional Mexican dish made mainly with bread. It’s called Capirotada. All the goodness from cinnamon, cane sugar and different nuts mixed with toasted bread makes this dish really good. I tried to do it once since I’ve been living in Europe, but it’s far from the taste of the one my grandmother used to make. I hope to get to be half as good cook as she was one day!

  12. My favourite bread first of all has to be handmade, then it can’t be that bad as principle. I absolutely love all the breads I got to try at bakeriiet Lom, a bakery in Norway that is run by a former chef. Their sourdough goes especially well in an Italian bread salad, made with stale bread, sun ripe tomatoes, exellent olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh garlic. It alsways amazes me how a few ingredients can make such a rich taste of summer.

  13. My favorite bread related dish has got to be French toast. Perfect for lazy morning when all you have left is that lovely bread that has just gone a little bit stale.. The lingering smell of cinnamon in the kitchen makes it even better!

  14. When I visited San Francisco a couple months ago I went on a toast adventure, after reading an inspiring article online about a woman who sells toast, fresh coconuts and coffee at her coffee shop called Trouble near the beach. According to the journalist who interviewed her, she has health issues and these three things keep her grounded. I would love to tell you the full story sometime, and I’m sure you can find it online just like I did. Anyway I was so inspired by the story that I set out to try her toast. And it was my luck that when I arrived there she was standing behind the counter, which apparently is a rarity since she has employees who have taken over that job. Anyways, it was home baked white bread with butter and brown sugar. And it was the best toast I had ever had, mainly because of the hardship and strength it symbolizes to me. Like you said, Malin’s bread exchange is all about the story behind it, and so I thought this would be appropriate.
    As you can imagine I would love to win her book, as I have been reading her blog also and am obviously into breadmaking!

    It turns out that because of the article on this woman and her toast, selling toast in coffeeshops is now a huge trend in San Francisco and so I encountered a hip coffee place later called ‘the mill’ which actually is a joint venture between a coffeeshop and an in-house bakery. Who also make pretty amazing bread: I sampled dark rye with creamcheese and salt&pepper as well as walnut sourdough with honey. Both were fantastic! Especially because the toast reminded me of where my trip to Trouble cafe.

  15. After living in a bread deserted country with only fluffy bread around for almost 11 years, I decided to give it a try and produced my own sourdough bread with a mixture of rye and wheat. The smell functions like a spinning top from Inception, catapults me back home in Vienna walking into a bakery and getting traditional sourdough bread and a brioche horn for the way back home….my favorite topping on my bread is butter and some chopped chives on top. Malin if you want to come to The Hague, I’ will guide you around. Mona

  16. I think to name one favourite bread would be like to name one favourite book: very unfair to all the others just as wonderful. I love bread – crunchy baguette, soft ciabatta or hearty dark rye bread, a good bread is always the best choice for any food and goes with everything.

  17. I feel fortunate to have met Malin once, years ago, and traded some Swabian delicacies with her. Even back then, her bread was stunning.
    This summer, I discovered this amazing bakery called “Soluna Broth & Öl” in Berlin. Among a lot of other great stuff, they sell a white bread with prunes and walnuts that I could not stop eating. I also gave it to friends when I would visit them for breakfast or any other occasion and they, too, loved it.
    Well, be it white bread, sourdough or any other – I just love my carbohydrates and would be so happy about a copy of Malin’s book as I could finally learn to bake these wonderful loafs myself.

  18. Being German I love bread in general. But nothing beats a fresh sourdough loaf that’s still slightly warm. Cut off a slice, spread some butter and sprinkle a bit of salt on it… Heaven!

  19. I just started to make my own bread. I am very fascinated about it. So much fun! When you take it out of the oven and it has turned out and it is hot all it wants is butter! Eat!

  20. Malin’s bread is so deliciously easy and versatile. I bake bread frequently and am always on the lookout for new recipes. I am British/ south African living in Norway.

  21. I know it’s a bit boring to some but I love making fresh nan bread and then sitting down with my family ripping it apart and dipping it in to freshly made tikka and whatever side dishes we have on the table

  22. There are so many great breads! My favorite might be a nice, crusty Cuban Baguette to make Cuban Sandwiches on. Get that plancha ready, I want some sandwiches!

    Or a nice French Baguette with some homemade jam and cheese. Simplest is the best! 🙂

  23. My favourite bread is spelt, for its crunchy crust and chewy inside. I’m also interested to try horse bread, I wonder if you have a recipe for it?

  24. Thanks for the inspiring post. My favorite bread dish is ‘maizes zupa’, a Latvian dessert made of rye bread, dry fruits, and cranberries, served with wiped cream (traditionally), or with mascarpone, ricotta, or creme fraiche.

  25. My favourite bread has to be the humble sourdough. I have recently started making my own sourdough, after weeks of fermenting the starter and then consulting with my golfing partner who also has a love of homemade bread, I managed to make my first loaf. Better still I got to share it with my friends. The best part of cooking and eating is sharing with family and friends. Can’t wait to try Malin’s recipes.
    If you ever visit Australia let me know, would love to hear from you.

  26. Thanks Rachel for sharing Malin to me…

    My father always said that I’m a lover of all types of bread as long as they have a good crusty outside and inside with a soft texture…rustic, country bread made with semolina flour as well!

    Can’t wait to try Malin’s recipes too…unfortunately I live in Asia Taiwan…Wondering…Is that possible that I can buy one edition from my country?

  27. My favorite recipe: At first you it looks like a usual loaf of sourdough bread, but from the moment on you cut the first slice the secret is revealed- it includes juicy Kassler/gammon steak and sauerkraut. May serve it with a bit of mustard. It is nothing fancy or extraordinary, but a wonderful warming down to earth treat in autumn or winter.

  28. Just started baking bread, starting with spelt. I love bread! It’s magical goodness I think, is best slathered in butter and topped toasted with a savoury or sweet treat (marmite for a savoury… Dun dah daa!). Oh and not to mention pizza dough, nothing better than light, crispy, thin discs of lovelieness. All hail the glorious bread!! : )

  29. My girlfriends grandfather was a baker in New York and he showed me how to make bread from scratch. He would roll deli meats like prosciutto or soprasetta into the meat it was amazing

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