Buns, Baps or Barms?

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There has always been loads of debate about what is the right name for a ball of bread. This issue has sparked arguments across the country and even within our offices, so here are ten names for a bread roll and where these names originate from.

Our white floured rolls

Our white floured rolls

1. A bread roll.

The most common name and is nationally recognised all over the country. Its pretty simple how this name came around as to make a bread roll, the dough needs to be rolled into a ball before baking. So, if you stuck and don’t know for the local term always stick with bread roll.

2. Bap.

The actual origins of the term bap remain unknown, although the first evidence of the word in relation to bread came in the 16th century. The term is used in many different areas of Britain including most of Scotland and Ireland as well as areas of London and parts of the North of England. In a survey conducted by the University of Manchester, the Bap was used by 18% of Brits.

3. The Bun.

A bun is the term used by many people in the North East, south Wales and much of Northern Ireland. A bun first originated as a sweeter bread enhanced with butter much like the French brioche, however over time it has been associated with any small bread roll. This word came from the middle English word ‘bunne’ in around 1325-75, at the time this meant a wheat cake.

4. Barm Cake.

The word used by people in the north west of England, including Manchester. In a poll conducted by The Bolton News, 4 out of 6 shoppers used the term barm. The name came from the use of the foam on top of beer- which is called barm, this was used to help the bread to rise. In Wigan, a pie served between a barm cake is known locally as a “Wigan Kebab.”

5. Muffins.

Often called Oven Bottom Muffins, this name is often used by the people of Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire. Before ovens with shelves became commonplace towards the end of the 19th Century, all baked goods were cooked on the oven bottom, so that the term 'oven-bottom' is relatively recent. This is likely where the name comes from. The earliest reference to these was found in 1898 Novel, The Scowcroft Critics by John Ackworth which was set in Lancashire.

6. Cob.

This is the word used by people in the Midlands, especially in cities in the East such as Nottingham. The exact origins of the word are not known, although some people say that the word originated from the word cop, which means head. Others state that the word came from people saying that thy looked like a cobbled street and thus one was a cobble, or cob. Whatever the reason for its existence the word is used by Great British Baker off judge Paul Hollywood and so must be right.

7. Teacake.

A word used by people in pockets of Yorkshire and East Lancashire, the teacake is not bread with dried fruit in but just a normal bread ‘teacake’. Here in Barnsley, the word originated from workers in the Linen trade, which was the main trade of the town throughout the 18th century. In the linen factories, conditions got very warm so normal bread just dried out and became inedible. This meant that workers had to change the recipe to a higher level of fat. These alternatives to bread were called tea cakes, likely due to them being eaten with a cup of tea. Over time this name was given to all bread rolls and that’s why we call our bread rolls teacakes.

8. Stotty.

The stotty is one of the names used by Yorkshire bread lovers as well as residents of the North East for a roll, this is mostly used in the North of the county. Originally the stotty or stottie cake was a flat round loaf that was around 30 centimetres across and an indent in the centre. Some smaller bakeries still produce the authentic stotty, over time it has become a broader name used to describe a bread roll by certain people.

9. Batch.

The use of this word is very rare although it is the name of choice in both Coventry and Nuneaton. The origins are uncertain for the word although some think that it derived from the middle English word, bache, which meant to bake.

10. Bin Lid.

According to the same survey conducted by the University of Manchester, there are a number of Liverpudlians who use this unusual name. Although it was hard to find any information on the origins of this name, you would expect that it comes from the similarity in round shape of a bread roll and a bin lid.

Let us know what you call them in the comments below!

18 names for bread rolls through out Britain

18 names for bread rolls through out Britain