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Buns, Barms and Bin Lids... What do you call a bread roll?

The roll is a small, often round, loaf of bread believed to have been created during the 16th century and is said to have been originally eaten in England.

Across Britain, there are many regional names for bread rolls originating from bakers who named them according to the method they used to make the dough, the size of the roll and how it was baked. However over time these differences have been neglected and many similar products have been grouped under one name.

Depending upon where you are in the country, a different term may be used. This map outlines eighteen different terms for the beloved bread roll:

 

 

A recent survey by Linguistics researchers at Manchester University found that these were the most commonly used terms:

Roll

36%

Bap

18%

Bun

16%

Barm

14%

Muffin

5%

Cob

5%

Teacake

5%

 

They found that the term ‘roll’ has spread from its roots in the South East to be used throughout the country with more than one third of those who responded choosing it, although the majority of these were still in the South.

Bap, Bun and Barm complete the top four terms used and were all mainly found in the North. At Village Bakery, we have become renowned for our Slow Dough ‘Barm Cakes’ which are one of our top selling products across North Wales. Maybe we'd have more success if we called them 'Bin lids' or 'Blaas'?!

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