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Get a taste: Studio HENK x Fort Negen

From early April, our new flagship store The Home of Studio HENK will open its doors on the Rozengracht 204 in Amsterdam. The store will function as an open house that welcomes everybody to look around, draw inspiration and experience the lifestyle of Studio HENK. 

To celebrate the opening of our new home we called on Fort Negen to create a special edition loaf - because nothing makes a home feel more welcoming than the smell of freshly baked bread. 

Our very first design was a dining table - a place to connect and share moments over a meal with friends and family. 

Maarten Langeslag, founder and owner of Fort Negen, created this recipe for a big family bread that tastes down-to-earth and traditionally Dutch.

From Saturday March 19 this special bread is available at Fort Negen on the weekends, for a month at the Jan Evertsenstraat 31, Amsterdam.  

We talked to Maarten about his love for baking sourdough, sustainability and why you should get a taste of this special edition Studio HENK x Fort Negen recipe.

How did you create the Studio HENK recipe?

“I was inspired by my grandfather's wood workshop. Because Studio HENK also crafts wooden furniture, I immediately thought of the workshop and the appetite it gives you. I also thought it’s important for the bread to have a warm and comforting taste; a feeling that you also want to create in an interior. That's why I used oats in the recipe. The oats, which come from a local farmer, give the bread a full and creamy taste.”

Where does your love for baking bread and sourdough come from?

“I grew up eating bread that was freshly baked by my grandmother and parents, and I learned baking from them. When I moved out from my parent’s home it came naturally to me to continue baking my own bread. I found my love for sourdough bread on an organic farm in Australia. I had quit my office job, sold all my belongings and left to travel for an extended period of time. I will never forget my first slice of sourdough; I had never tasted anything quite like it. It was moist, a little fruity and had a crisp caramelised crust. I was immediately sold and asked if they could teach me this way of baking. It was a fantastic experience. The farm was close to the beach so you could look out at the ocean while you were baking. They also grew their own produce and had chickens everywhere - a huge source of inspiration for how I would like to live one day.”

How did you eventually become a baker?

“After that experience on the farm I did internships in various places in Australia, France and Italy to learn how to bake sourdough bread and eventually I ended up in Belgium where I ran a wood-fired bakery. Once back in Amsterdam I studied to become a chef in the restaurant De Kas, but soon found out that I am more of a home cook. They did offer me a job as a baker, which turned out to be a success: various chefs came to eat at De Kas and then asked if they could also serve the bread in their restaurants. The demand was increasing and I needed more space to bake, so I used a BBrood location where I also did product development for them. Then, I eventually started my own bakery, Fort Negen, in 2021.

How does sustainability play a role in your bakery?

“We work together with local farmers from the Netherlands and Germany for our flour. It has been very important to me to introduce biodynamic agriculture to a greater mass. In conventional agriculture, many pesticides are used and these affect the topsoil layers in which plant remains are broken down and therefore a lot of life. In biodynamic agriculture, no pesticides are used, so you maintain life in the soil, plants can grow better and so more minerals end up in your vegetables - it’s good for the taste and your health.”

Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?

“Sometimes I get inspiration from places; like the farmhouse bread that is an ode to my youth and the place where I grew up just south of Haarlem. The rye I use for that bread comes from a local farmer. When I baked bread for De Kas, I was inspired by the vegetables they grew themselves and I used the seeds for the bread. Sometimes I am inspired by a certain feeling: with a croissant, for example, you want your shirt to be covered in crumbs with the first bite. When I let my friends test the croissants and they spread butter on them, I immediately knew: add more butter.”

Want to get a taste? From the 19th of March the Studio HENK x Fort Negen bread will be available for four weekends in the Fort Negen bakery at Jan Evertsenstraat 31 in Amsterdam.