Finest Bakes: Homemade Barms ‘white bread rolls’

Last week we saw the British Bake Off contestants tackle Bread Week, so what better time to answer the Northern mystery of the ‘white bread roll’ question. Is it a barm, bap, muffin, cob, bun or simply a bread roll?

By Manchester's Finest | 12 October 2020

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Being a Salford girl, we call this a barm. Standard. Now that’s not a ‘barm cake’ just simply a barm. Whether you agree or not (hopefully you do 😉 ), I’ve put together a super simple recipe so you can make these fresh, soft, deliciously satisfying barms at home…

BREAD WEEK: Homemade Barms ‘white bread rolls’
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Total time: 2 hours 45 mins (including 2 hour proving time)
Techniques learned: Proving, bread making

Serving size: five larger barms, perfect for chips and gravy or eight smaller versions for sandwiches


500g strong white bread flour
1 TSP salt
2 TSP dried yeast
30g softened butter
225ml warmed water
75ml warmed milk
Plain flour (for dusting surfaces)


Large mixing bowl
Deep roasting tin
Clean and dry tea towel
Cling film


1. In the large mixing bowl, add in the flour then the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side

For any bread that requires both salt and yeast, always separate them initially as the salt can kill the yeast

2. Mix together with your fingers to create a breadcrumb like texture. Pinching the flour between your fingertips, pulling up and out of the bowl. Shake the bowl to reveal the larger clumps of butter at the top and continue to rub.

3. Mix the warm milk and water together and pour this into the flour. Mix together with your hands until the dough is well combined and can form a ball.

4. Knead the dough with floured hands on a floured surface for around 20-25 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can add a touch more warm water to loosen the dough if required but make sure you don’t add too much.

5. Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, but make sure this has been washed, rinsed and dried thoroughly. Put the bowl in a warm place and cover with the clean tea town. Leave for around 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

6. When the dough has doubled in size, re-flour the work surface and knead for around 5 minutes making sure you’ve knocked the air out.

7. Separate the mixture into your chosen parts and roll them with your hands to create small balls then flatten the top slightly with the palm of your hand. I usually weigh these at around 140-147g and create 5 larger balls and a smaller one which I use as a test to make sure they’re cooked through.

8. Lightly oil the roasting tin and place the dough balls on top, placing them closely together. Cover with cling film and set aside for around an hour or until they’ve doubled in size again.

9. In a preheated oven at 220C, pop the roasting tin into the oven for around 12-15 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown.

Before putting them into the oven, you can lightly dust them with rice flour or add seeds if you’d prefer.

And there you have it, beautifully delicious barm, bap, muffin, cob, bun, bread roll – or whatever you want to call it, ready to be served as sandwiches, chips or to mop up your soup!


Hit us up if you try this recipe, I’d love to see your posts on Instagram! Tag @thefoodrubiks and @mcrfinest in your pictures.

Stay tuned for more bakes and cakes over the coming weeks…

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