Bread Stamps

people liked the faces
bakery comes to the gallery
He used to be a baker, now studying to be a lawyer. he thought industrial swap for craft skills
that's what a loaf of bread is worth
after three days of trade

I have just started finding out about bread stamps. Does anyone out there know about this way of marking loaves?


The most interesting website I have found in this relates to bread being baked for orthodox Christian communities:

Complete with a page about the physics of how the stamps work:


I'm interested because marking loaves with some sort of makers mark would fit nicely with my current research/art project involving baking bread and swapping it for objects of equivalent value. 


Attached are photos of my last event where I went into a gallery for three days and produced 500kg of white sourdough. Was it any good you ask? well I think it was the best sourdough baked in a gallery that I've ever seen. I'm a artist not a baker so some of the batches were a bit inconsistent. You can see the photo of the collection of stuff I swapped over the three days.


I'll also answer earlier comments about this project being wasteful or bad art that are in another thread.

Of the approximately 500 loaves baked, 250 were swapped for objects. 100 were given to people and organisations that helped out. 50 went to a music event to feed the masses and 20 were sent to the worm farm (something went very wrong with that batch) The rest probably got eaten on site or somehow found their way to happy mouths.

Quality in art is always hard to judge but any work that sends audiences away smiling and has parents bringing kids along to try and explain value, barter, baking and art I think can't be all bad.


The plan is to hold three more of these events in the next twelve months in different places to see what the variation in what is offered. It's all part of the research for my PhD in the area of participatory art.  


Sorry I'm not writing more. I dropped the oven on my fingers and fractured two when moving it out of the gallery back to my shed.




349 users have voted.


Chow 2010 August 3

 Sorry, I seem to have not posted the photos. I'm not sure where they went. I'll try and fix the problem.

rossnroller 2010 August 3

You didn't explain fully about your bread 'event' in your previous post! Now that you have given some extra details, I've changed my attitude - like it!

Lotsa rustic SD loaves and a VERY professional-looking baguette in those pics.

Like the T-shirt, too!


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2010 August 4

Hey, Chow! I love art in breads, tho' I go ga-ga enough over any slashed loaves. I stumbled into that same website some time ago, and, actually, had a couple of stamps made for a friend, out of clay and burned in a kiln. However, it didn't seem to work. The imprint expands and blurs to nothingness on baking if they are stamped prior to baking. If they are left on the bread to bake, it gets stuck even if it is oiled. Would be great if someone could help.

The Event sounds amazing! The smiley face breads, some more muahahhhahhh than others, made me chuckle. An interesting I really love.

Sorry to hear about your (ouch!) injury!

Chow 2010 August 4

Thanks rossnroller. Last time I posted the ideas were still a bit unformed. partly due to your earlier comments I tightened the work up.

And Thank you TeckPoh for the notes on stamps. I was going to meet with a potter friend about making me some tests. I think someone out there must know. There is another research student here looking at Roman ceramic cooking devices, I'll ask them and keep you posted.

lily 2010 August 4

Clay stamps sound beautiful, but as TP says it's hard to retain definition.  You could use stencils for an individual look?  Dusting flour/grain/seeds over any kind of pattern should stay put after baking - a spritz of water before dredging  will make the surface stickier.

Tania 2010 August 5

Hi Chow,

My memory is telling me that I have some info on bread stamps in my Greek cookbook that I bought from the Paniyiri Greek Festival here in Brisbane,  is that the sort of thing you are after?

Ok, I have found said book, it talks about Church Breads  (Arto), Prosforon and the Holy Communion, and has a recipes for the loaves, one uses fresh yeast and the other dry yeast not sourdough though.

If you would like the recipe let me know and I will type it in for you.  In regards to the stamps it doesn't say what they are made of here just about the procedures which must be followed and a drawing of the imprint.

I love the smilie faces, very cool, I hope this is of some help, and I hope you recover from your injuries soon.


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