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 and Brazil. 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 wheatflour, 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")fransbrödbullar and frallor, in Denmark and Norwayrundstykker (literally "round pieces") and are comfort food eaten with butter and any kind of topping (marmalade, cheese, ham, salami) for special weekend breakfasts.
Bread rolls are often flung at each other by characters in PG Wodehouse novels in clubs such as The Drones.
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.
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.
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.