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A Roll is a small, often round loaf of bread served as a meal accompaniment (eaten plain or with butter). A roll can be served and eaten whole or cut transversely and dressed with filling between the two halves. Rolls are also commonly used to make sandwiches similar to those produced using slices of bread.
Rolls are common in Europe, especially in Germany, in Italy (where they are 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 Hungarian 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.
There are many names for bread rolls, especially in local dialects of British English. The different terms originated from bakers, who labelled different bread rolls depending on how they made the dough and how they were cooked. Over time, most people have come to use one name to refer to all similar products regardless of whether or not it is technically correct by the old terms.
- Bun – the term for a bread roll, bread batch or bread barm cake, primarily used in Northern England.
- Bread roll or roll
- Bap – 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. Due to the fact that "bap" is a type of bread, it is used as a term for "friend" on the TV series Breadwinners.
- Batch (basically the same as a Bap); a term used in North Warwickshire, Nuneaton, Coventry and Cheshire as well as on the Wirral, England
- Barm or barm cake or flour cake – a flat, often floured, savoury, small bread made using a natural leaven including mashed hops to stop it souring; a term often used in Liverpool, Manchester, South Lancashire and West Lancashire.
- Bin lid – a large round soft white or brown roll; a term often used 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.
- Buttery – a flat savoury roll from Aberdeen.
- Cob – a round roll, either soft or crusty; a term often used in the Midlands.
- 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.
- French roll – a generic term for the bread roll. Also a sweeter, softer roll with milk added to the dough.
- Italian roll or 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 – a bread roll; a term often used in Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Ashton–Under–Lyne and parts of West Yorkshire. Note: a muffin is also a separate, distinct form of bread product. See English muffin.
- Onion roll – a roll flavoured or topped with onions, sometimes with poppy seeds.
- Nudger – a long soft white or brown roll similar to a large finger roll common in Liverpool.
- Oven bottom – a flat, floury, soft roll; a term often used in Lancashire
- Parker House roll - a roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell.
- Stottie cake – a thick, flat, round loaf. Stotties are common in North East England.
- Media related to Bread rolls at Wikimedia Commons