Bread is one of the most familiar staples found in numerous forms worldwide. It is entwined with culture, as well as a good signifier for political stability in some countries. But remains a basic recipe, Bedouin bread (Aish Bedawi) for instance only requires water, flour and salt, and can even be made in the desert over hot coals. This investigation started in Egypt with government subsidised bakeries as well as the many traditional forms of bread which exist there. It continued in the Netherlands to artisan bakeries and large manufacturers to learn how bread has transformed into a strange commodity, produced in bulk with many ingredients, requiring elaborate machines and assembly lines to make, so that it can be delivered to shoppers nationwide. Ultimately this project seeks to understand how bread became so complicated. The results of this research are presented in the form of a fully functional bakery. The ‘Basement Bakery’ established in the depths of De Marktkantine, will specialise in one type of bread a variation of Shami (sun) bread common in upper Egypt but now made in a subterranean environment. Visitors to the bakery will be able to pick up some bread as well as experience the different sides of bread production through a tour of the bakery and its facilities.

This project makes up one of the strands of the larger ‘Technological Convenience’ project Jon is undertaking, seeking to reveal the hidden networks and complex machines that fuel the 24-hour services providing anything people desire at the push of a button.