Traveling has no purpose. You travel because there is something out there that is worth seeing yourself. Because there are people whose life you can’t imagine, unless you meet them.
For some it is confusing that I plan my trips due to bakeries I discovered mostly online – or rather bakers, their places and their stories like others do with beaches or special sights on world maps.
Eline Ex has an artisan bakery „Broodbakkerij Ex“ in Amsterdam Noord, with an open workspace and a simple shop attached to it. We visit the bakery during our last holland short break on a sunny afternoon, the scent of awakening bread filling the room and a thin layer of flour veiling everything. Eline makes bread in a traditional French way, using only flour, water, salt, sourdough and her hands. In essence it’s a very simple product, but that is precisely what makes it so complex. Artisan bread baking is a really fine, really specific craft. In Eline’s „bread home“ you feel that the neighbourhood is very much involved with what she is doing there. It was very nice to notice during our visits how Eline’s customers are happy that she has opened her place in their neighborhood. They appreciate what she is doing, and are sincere in their feedback. It’s a warm place to be.
Her fascination for bread arose when she worked in the kitchen of a restaurant in Paris. Every day they got bread from the best bakers in town and she realized how this really simple product inspired and fascinated her. And she realized that sourdough bread baking – this very slow and intuitive process – was better suited to her life than the refined and fast work in the kitchen. She studied for six month with a wood-fired baker in Brittany, then she worked at de Superette in Ghent. After a year and a half she started her own business in the Netherlands, in the space of another baker. Sold her bread mostly on the Noordermarkt on Saturday. Until she opened her small open bakery in the summer of 2019 in Amsterdam Noord.
So we have been on vacation near Amsterdam in early spring for 4 days, have slept wonderfully in a circus wagon and a very special apartment in the countryside. And have discovered many more people their places and stories, but that’s a new story.