Bread rolls (lower bin) at a bakery
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A bread roll is a small, often round loaf of bread for one person. Bread rolls are commonly served as a meal accompaniment (eaten plain or with butter), or else – cut transversely and with a filling placed between the two halves – used to make sandwiches similar to those produced using slices of bread.
There are many names for bread rolls, especially in local dialects of British English. Originally, these originated with bakers terms for different forms of bread roll depending on how the dough was made and how the roll was cooked. However, over time, most people have come to use one name to refer to all similar products regardless of whether it is technically correct or not.
- Breadcake the soft roll that is used in the making of sandwiches; a term often used in most areas of Yorkshire.
- Cob a round roll, either soft or crusty; a term often used in the Midlands
- Bread roll or just roll
- Bap (often a larger soft roll, roughly 5-6 inches in diameter). May contain fats such as lard or butter to provide tenderness. Can come in multiple shapes dependent on region. Baps as traditionally made in Scotland are not sweet, unlike the Irish version which may contain currants. The 9th Edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995) says that the word "bap" dates from the 16th century and that its origin is unknown.
- Barm or barm cake Term used in Liverpool/ South Lancashire... is a flat, often floured, savoury, small bread made using a natural leaven including mashed hops to stop it souring. It is also slang for a batch.
- Batch, a Wirral, Atherstone, Nuneaton, Bedworth and Coventry term, a soft or hard floured bread roll.
- Bin lid, a large round soft white or brown roll common in Merseyside.
- Blaa, a doughy, white bread roll. A speciality found in Waterford, Ireland.
- Bulkie roll, a type of roll with a crust that is usually slightly crisp or crunchy and has no toppings.
- Bun (e.g., hamburger bun or hot dog bun).
- Buttery, a flat savoury roll from Aberdeen.
- Dinner roll, a smaller roll, often crusty.
- Dollar roll, a small silver-dollar-sized roll, often sliced and used for sandwiches.
- Finger roll, a soft roll about three times longer than it is wide.
- Flour cake is also used, along with barm, in Bolton.
- French roll, often used as a generic term for the bread roll but also a sweeter softer roll with milk added to the dough.
- Italian roll, also known as a hoagie roll, long roll or steak roll, a long, narrow roll with an airy, dry interior and crusty exterior.
- Kaiser roll, a crusty round roll, often topped with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, made by folding corners of a square inward so that their points meet.
- Kummelweck, a kaiser roll or bulkie roll that is topped with a mixture of kosher salt and caraway seeds. This type of roll is a regional variation found primarily in parts of Germany and in Upstate New York.
- Manchet, a yeast roll popular with the Tudor Court of which there are many variations.
- Muffin Some people in the UK refer to a bread roll as a "muffin" (commonly used in Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Salford and parts of West Yorkshire), although a muffin is also a separate, distinct form of bread product. See English muffin.
- Onion roll, flavoured or topped with onions, and sometimes with poppy seeds.
- Nudger, a long soft white or brown roll similar to a large finger roll common in Liverpool.
- Oven bottom, a Lancashire term for a flat, floury, soft roll.
- Stottie cake, a thick, flat, round loaf. Stotties are common in North East England.
- Teacake, an oven bottom that has risen and slightly browned on top Yorkshire & Lancashire but not to be confused with teacakes containing fruit.
Bread rolls are common in Europe, especially in Germany, in Italy (called panino or panini) and in Austria. They are equally common in both Australia and New Zealand, and very common in Canada. Just like English, the German language has many local and dialectal terms for rolls, such as Brötchen (Rhineland and parts of Northern Germany; non-dialectal high German uses this term too), which is the diminutive of "Brot" (bread), Rundstück (in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein), Semmel (Bavaria, most parts of Saxony and Austria, from Latin similia wheat flour, originally from Assyrian samidu white flour; the Hungrarian term zsemle derives from the same root), Schrippe (in Berlin and parts of Brandenburg), or Weck (especially in Baden-Württemberg, Franconia and Saarland). In Germany and Austria, there is a large variety of bread rolls, ranging from white rolls made with wheat flour, to dark rolls containing mostly rye flour. Many variants include spices, such as coriander and cumin, nuts; or seeds, such as sesame seeds, poppy seed or sunflower seeds. The Doppelweck is a Saarland specialty which consists of two rolls joined together side-by-side before baking.
An Italian form is a small loaf of ciabatta which can be used to make a panino (or panini in plural). In Sweden they are called (frukost)bullar ("breakfast buns"), in Denmark and Norway rundstykker (literally "round pieces") and are comfort food eaten with butter and any kind of topping (marmalade, cheese, ham, salami) for special weekend breakfasts.
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