Farmhouse Baps

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It's time to make Farmhouse Baps. I always have a large supply in the freezer as it's easy to pull a couple out after breakfast, let them thaw slowly on a cooling rack and they're ready for lunchtime. 

They're ideal split, buttered and filled anything from : bacon, cheese, egg, tuna, cold meats.....or served with a bowl of heart-warming soup.

I sometimes space the baps out before baking so they have a crust all the way around; but lately, I've been batch-baking them. Batch -aking means putting them closer together on the proofing tray so they rub up against each other as the expand. Tearing them apart when cool, gives you a lovely soft edge that works well when made into a filled roll. 

I've never quite worked out where a 'bap' meets a 'roll'. Although 'bap' is a word originates as far back as the 16th century, in Scotland it is a sweet dough and in Ireland, it's filled with currrants. In the Midlands, Warwickshire, Wirral and Cheshire , my 'bap' is a 'batch' (echoing the way they are proofed). In the north-west, they are sometimes erroneously called 'barms' - although, strictly speaking, a barm should be made using a mashed-hopped leaven to stop them souring. 

I'm dusting the tops with flour - so I'm calling these Farmhouse Baps. This is a recipe for a significant number of baps, for a reason. They freeze really well, so I bag them up and work my way through them over a number of weeks. You can always half the recipe, if you lack space. 


1 kg of strong white bread flour

650 mls of filtered water (or basic bottled still water)

50 gms butter

4 tablespoon dried milk powder

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoon demerera sugar

2 teaspoon fast action dried yeast

You can also add seeds or grains to this mix. For added flavour, lightly toast them in a dry pan and allow to cool before adding. 

As a suggestion, choose your seeds or a combination from: chia, sesame, linseed, pumpkin, sunflower  and/or  poppy. 


If you're using a machine, add the flour and the salt to the pan and cover with the liquid. Leave to autolyse for fifteen minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and choose a Basic Dough programme (2hrs 20 minutes). The proceed to the next stage. 

If you're mixing by hand or using a stand mixer, add the softened butter and the salt to the flour and mix thoroughly. Then add the remainder of the dry ingredients (except the yeast). Slowly add the liquid and then the yeast until you have a sticky mix. Turn the mix out onto a floured board and knead until you have a silky and pliable dough. (There are 'Help' videos and articles in the 'Useful Web and YouTube links' on the lefthand side of this page). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave for an hour somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. 

For a lighter dough (if you're mixing by hand), take a third of the flour and a third of the water , mix thoroughly and then allow to stand for 30 minutes. Then incorporate this into the remainder of the process. 

You will need a number of baking trays for this recipe. That's another advantage of batch baking. Rolls brushing up against each other take up less room. 

  1. Weigh the dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly-floured board and divide it into two equal portions. 
  3. Take one portion and divide it into eight equal portions. 
  4. Flattten out the dough portion and, working around the perimeter of the dough, bring in the edges into the centre to make a 'purse'. Turn the dough over so the seam is on the bottom and place the cup of your palm around the dough. Using a circular motion, move the dough ball around until you have a smooth dough bun. Alternatuvely, using the cupped edges of your palms, work the dough gently into a ball. 
  5. Flatten the ball slightly and gently with the palm of your hand and place on a baking sheet lined with either silicone or parchment paper. 
  6. Work through the rest of the dough portions and then the other piece of dough, using the same process and method. 
Place the rolls about one inch apart. 

Cover with parchment paper and allow to double in volume. This may take 45 - 60 minutes at room temperature. 

The dough on the left was hand-kneaded.
The dough on the right was prepared using a basic dough programme in the breadmaker. 

16 baps - each approximately 123 gms. 

Preheat you oven to 200⁰C. 

Place the trays into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until they are lightly golden. Don;t overbake these, you want to retain the softness. 

Transfer to a cooling rack and lightly dust the tops with flour while they are still hot. 

Leave to cool, then split, bag and freeze. 

Happy baking....


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