Barm, roll, cob or bread-cake... Star readers debate the correct name for this food staple

Over the course of history there have been so many Great Yorkshire debates, however many of those pale in comparison to the correct nomenclature that could, or rather ‘should’, be applied to the humble bread-cake.

Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 4:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 9:42 am

What do you call the bready object that we use for all sorts, from sandwiches to soup dips and more? We thought it was only right to put it to our readers, just so they could share their views on what the correct name is for a bread-cake after sharing an image of the item(s) in question.

Here are a selection of our readers thoughts on this hugely controversial topic:

Anne Monks responded first, “I say bread cake but my grandma called them Balm cakes and she made her own with “balm” which was the yeast which I had to fetch from the co-op.”

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It's not a bap, roll or a bap, it is and always will be a breadcake.

Rachel Christian keeps it short and sweet (not in the sweet form of a teacake, but we’ll get to that), “Breadcake.”

Anthony Wilson replied to the previous two responses saying, “You're all wrong, lol.” To which we say, you will see Anthony… you’ll all see.

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“A little bit silly to ask that question in Sheffield. All those that did not answer, "breadcake," obviously originated from far flung places!”

Star readers debate the correct naming convention for a breadcake

Sharon Stanley responded with the hugely controversial, “Tea cake”. Mel Machin almost threw his bread-cake in fury, “no. They have fruit in them”, he responded.

Eugene Solomon was keen to point out that, “There's no such thing. There's breadcakes (no fruit) and teacakes (fruit).” Tracey Sutton agreed with Eugene’s statement.

Clearly Sharon just wants to see the world burn, providing an image of Asda teacakes… which is not only wrong but a complete and utter travesty.

Eugene was not standing for this though, “Yeah, but Asda are owned by two blokes from Lancashire - it's not their fault that they're totally wrong. But they are totally wrong.”

Mel dived straight back into the fray, determined to stomp out this travesty once and for all, “yes and Sainsbury's are a southern owned company whose owner must be right just like when he parted with £100,000 which he gave to a stranger to help him fight witches in Sussex. It must have been successful because the witchcraft stopped and the stranger disappeared leaving a thank you note to John Sainsbury. A man of that intelligence must know what a tea cake is?” Now that was a journey that we were not quite b-ready for, ahem.

There's breadcakes (no fruit) and teacakes (fruit).”

Chris Jackson got things back on track in fine fashion, nice and swiftly, “breadcake.”

And Julie Habelhames wrote, “Baps”… oh crumbs, easy on there.

More sensible responses came courtesy of Angie Crofts, Jean Hepplestone and Garynor Barnden, who all responded with “Breadcakes.”

There were a few rabble-rousers and trouble-causers, namely David Reaney who said “Bap roll or a tea scone”, we see what you did there. James Hancock yelled out, “Cob” and ran. Meanwhile Corinna Brockett replied with, “Brötchen”, which is a German bread-cake… yes, it translates as ‘roll’ but it’s clearly wrong there as a bread roll refers to an oblong individual loaf of bread served alongside a meal.

Phil Makey says that it is “A little bit silly to ask that question in Sheffield. All those that did not answer, "breadcake," obviously originated from far flung places!”

Thankfully, Jill Cooper kept it sensible and factual, “Bread cake in glorious S3. They come in small, medium, large and oven bottom. Also known as a soft cob please mi duck in Mansfield, they know no better”, we agree… they don’t.

Rachel Armstrong says that, “This debates been going on years does it really matterwhen tha bleeding hungry n the say to you on a tcake or slice a bread ud know diffrence when u answered if tha was starving marvin call it what tha wants as long as it fills a hole just eat it.”

To which frequent commentor, and resident snark artist, Eugene Solomon retorted, “It matters because ‘We Are Yorkshire’ - which means that we're right and everyone else is wrong. And they have to be seen to be wrong, obvs.”

Let’s be honest, you cannot argue with that at all, can you?

“Bread cake in glorious S3"

It’s the debate that could shake a household to its very core, depending on where you live of course. Whether we are discussing ‘breakfast, dinner, tea’ or heaven forbid ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’, what is certain is that the very region we come from can hugely impact the correct naming convention that should be applied to the humble breadcake. “It’s not a cake” some – incorrect people – may yell in dispute, but let’s use the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the name to clarify.

‘Bread (recorded from c.950) was historically a generic term for any baked item, while ‘cake’ (first recorded in 1230) and ‘loaf’ (recorded from c.950) originally referred to the shape of 'bread' - with cake usually being smaller and loaf larger. Crucially cake only acquired the sense of sweet ingredients relatively recently’

Further research on the topic yields more interesting facts, namely the use of the name ‘teacake’. This can cause confusion across the land (yes, even outside Yorkshire), where a teacake is often infused with currants. Leading to it being a sweeter edible form of bread, whereas a bread-cake is the savoury variant — this rule of thinking applies to Yorkshire and much of the north.

There you have it, historically it has been referred to as a bread-cake and many of us in Yorkshire refer to it as such. This is correct, it is the only way and as cute as the other variants are (note: they’re not), it is both historically and factually inaccurate to refer to them as anything else.

Finally as Mr Solomon noted, “It matters because ‘We Are Yorkshire’ - which means that we're right and everyone else is wrong.” Can’t argue with that.