Breadcakes and The Battle

There is a long debated battle in the Explorer household that I fear may never be resolved. It involves these little blighters.

Being brought up in family from Yorkshire I have gone through life, and continue to do so, calling these little ball of lovelies Breadcakes. 

When I lived in the South West if you said the word Breadcake you would be understood. When you visit the Yorkshire Dales they are actually called Breadcakes on the menus. But, apparently, here in the East Midlands, this is an unheard of phrase and is totally and utterly wrong - coming from Mr M and his largely Midlands born and raised family. 

When my family first moved up to the Midlands Papa Explorer took us to a Fish and Chip shop for some post house viewing tea and it was in this shop that the ladies behind the counter looked stumped when asked for a breadcake. 

Papa Explorer: ".....and a breadcake, please."
Chip shop ladies: "A what?"
Papa Explorer (realising dialect confusion): "Oh, urm, a barm cake?"
Chip shop ladies: *blank look*
Papa Explorer (finding this very amusing and a bit of a challenge): "A Bap?"
Chip Shop ladies: "....urm....."
Papa Explorer: "A roll??"
Chip Shop: "Oh! You mean a cob!" 

Now, to me a cob was a kind of horse. I though cob is the weirdest term for bread rolls I have ever heard and I still stick to pretty much the only Yorkshire based word I possess in my vocabulary: breadcake. 

The battle of Breadcake Vs Cob still rages strong in the Explorer household, but I will win. You just try and ask for a cob in Devon, young Mr M. I dare you. 

Anyway, I guess you may be thinking that it's easier to and buy some of these, and it is. But bread baking is a dying art form and it's a super easy one to master, plus it comes with the bonus free gift of making your house smell amazing! Did you want the recipe for these super easy little monsters? 


What You Will Need:

350g Strong White Bread Flour
150g of Plain Flour
7g Fast Action Yeast
300ml Lukewarm water
1 Teaspoon of Salt


Mix together you flours and salt. 
Split the mix into half and put one half to one side. 
Add into the half you're using half of your yeast. 
Work in your water to make a smooth batter. 
Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight if you can. You want you batter to be thick and bubbly. 
Once thick and bubbly has been acheived give the batter a stir. 
Add a tablespoon of water to your batter and add the remaining yeast to the flour mix you put aside earlier. Slowly mix in your reserved flour mix until you reach soft but not sticky stage. 
Knead your dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes, get those guns working! 
Now, leave to rise for an hour covered, and in a warm place. 
Once it is doubled in size gently take it out of your bowl and without handling it too much divide into 8.
Roll into loose balls and give them a 5 minute rest. 
Once they have had a chill out shape 'em and rise 'em again for about 40 minutes. 
Now, fopr the fancy footwork! Whack your oven onto it's hottest setting and put your baking trays in the oven with a spare one at the very bottom. 
Shape your rolls, brush them with a salty water wash and decorate as you fancy....seeds, nuts, scores....whatever you fancy. 
Now, quickly open your oven and get your rolls onto your trays, it's best to set them on baking paper and slide them on. Pour some cold water into the spare tray at the bottom and bake until golden brown. 
Et Voila. Homemade BREADCAKES

What do you call these?


  1. Ha ha! Love this! I'm originally from Norfolk and it me it's just a roll but my other half is rom Lancashire and he calls them barms! What a funny country we live in :D

    Chloe x

  2. I've heard them called barms before....which is bazaar! Although not as strange as them being called teacakes in Yorkshire.

    I bet you've come across loads of different names for things moving from Norfolk up to the North East!

    B x


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