Bath bun

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Bath bun
Culture... a bath bun and a pot of tea, Bath, United Kingdom (9605677635).jpg
Type Sweet roll
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state Somerset
Main ingredients Sugar, candied fruit peel, currants or raisins or sultanas
Cookbook: Bath bun  Media: Bath bun

The Bath bun is a sweet roll made from a milk-based yeast dough with crushed sugar sprinkled on top after baking.[1] [2] Variations in ingredients include enclosing a lump of sugar in the bun [3] or adding candied fruit peel, currants, raisins or sultanas.

The change from a light, shaped bun to a heavier, often fruited or highly sugared irregular one may date from the Great Exhibition of 1851 when almost a million were produced and consumed in five and a half months (the "London Bath bun").[2]

References to Bath buns date from 1763,[4] and Jane Austen wrote in a letter of "disordering my stomach with Bath Bunns" in 1801.[1] The original 18th-century recipe used a brioche or rich egg and butter dough which was then covered with caraway seeds[5] coated in several layers of sugar, similar to French dragée.[3]

The bun's creation is attributed to William Oliver in the 18th century.[6] Oliver also created the Bath Oliver dry biscuit after the bun proved too fattening for his rheumatic patients.[7] The bun may also have descended from the 18th-century "Bath cake". The buns are still produced in the Bath area of England.[4]

Although this is disputed, the 18th-century '"Bath cake" may also have been the forerunner of the Sally Lunn bun, which also originates from Bath.[3][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b John Ayto (18 October 2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9. 
  2. ^ a b David, Elizabeth (2001). English Bread and Yeast Cookery. Penguin. p. 624. ISBN 978-0140299748. 
  3. ^ a b c "Local Bath Delicacies". Visit Bath. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Bath". About Britain. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Davidson, Alan, "Bun" in Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 114. ISBN 0-19-211579-0
  6. ^ Bender, David A. "Bath bun", in A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition, Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ Biography of Dr Oliver

External links[edit]