Cuisine Fiend

soft white baps

Wed, 17 September, 2014


Soft floury baps are the comfort food of bread rolls. A little squidgy and very doughy; when sliced, they open up like a friendly hippopotamus. Insert bacon or burger here.

soft white floury baps

Baps - the forgotten bread rolls

Soft white baps are certainly out of fashion at the moment. Everyone wants crusty bread, not to mention sourdough, long fermentation and gluten free flour. Full of whole grain, bran and goodness breads are cherished, plain white subs, rolls or baps are in decline.

Unfairly so!

But apparently the ultimate bacon butty should be housed in an old-fashioned bap. I can easily understand that even though I'm the dedicated consumer of eggs at breakfast, not bacon or sausages.

Baps are comfortingly squidgy, sticking to the roof of your mouth a little, providing a soft floury pillow for the crispy bacon. A slice of tomato on top of the bacon, to leak juices down your chin, and your breakfast is bliss.

white bap makes an ultimate bacon sandwich

Burgers in baps

And, surprise, surprise, baps are the perfect housing for burgers as well – I’m telling you, stuff the little sesame buns. A bap will embrace your burger, mop up the juices and let you consume it in the time-honoured tradition: ditching silly knives and forks and grabbing the burger in your hand.

And if you shape them smaller, they will make perfect soft dinner rolls.

How to make baps

First sponge, the starter dough, which can easily be made the night before and ferment in the fridge overnight. As the sourdough tribe have persuaded us, the longer fermenting, the better the flavour.

Then the main dough is worked with more flour, sugar, liquid (milk or water) and some fat. Goose fat, lard or beef drippings are a classic but butter, which is what I use, will function well too. So yes, it is quite rich dough but that's what makes it so tasty. The video below shows exactly how to make them.

soft floury baps

How long does it take to make and bake baps?

Baking bread over two or more days has the advantage of giving the dough a longer fermentation and so a better flavour, as we already know. But it also takes away the stress.

Timing in bread-making

When it comes to actual bread-making activity, I expect these baps require no more than half an hour's hands-on labour. Except it's stretched over in between proving, fermenting, rising, proving and baking.

Every time I need to indicate the time a bread making recipe takes, I'm conflicted: is it the overall time? Is it the active prep? The longest maximum or the shortest minimum?

That's why I usually go for more vague indications - and anyway, if you're deciding to read a bread recipe in depth, you most probably know what you're doing quite well.


The recipe is courtesy of Dan Lepard and his book, ‘Short and Sweet’.

soft white baps

Servings: makes 9 large bapsTime: 3 hours
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • For the sponge:
  • 1½ tbsp. cornflour
  • 525g strong bread flour
  • 15g fresh yeast or 2 tsp fast action
  • 450ml warm water
  • For the dough:
  • sponge, as above
  • 50ml water
  • 75ml milk
  • 75g butter
  • 2 tbsp. cornflour
  • 275g strong bread flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2½ tsp salt



1. Mix all the sponge ingredients to a sticky dough in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour.

2. Heat up the milk and water to the boiling point, mix in the butter and leave to cool down a bit. Mix the flours with the salt and sugar, add the sponge and the butter/milk mixture and stir to a dough, if possible in a standing mixer with the dough hook attachment. Knead for quite a long time until it comes away from the side of the bowl.

3. Leave to prove in the bowl for 15 mins, then turn out and divide into 9 pieces, about 160g each. Shape each piece into a ball, dip or roll in flour, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment (you’ll need at least two sheets), cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 40 – 60 minutes.

Making soft baps

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Bake the baps for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Good luck!
23 days ago
Thanks so so much Anna. I much appreciate it. Can’t wait to try them on the weekend..!
23 days ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
If you look at the recipe, the dough only rests 15 minutes in bulk so there isn't much of a second deflate anyway. You can do steps 1-3 in the evening, cover the shaped baps on the trays (I use a plastic bin liner to slip the tray into and tie it with a rubber band) and refrigerate overnight. In the morning as you say, bring to room temp and bake. Hope this helps!
23 days ago
So if I had to shape and prove does that mean I make the dough shape it then leave in fridge overnight, they will prove and in morning bring to room temp and bake? No need to second deflate and prove? Thanks so so so much I’m advance..!
23 days ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi - yes you certainly can. It's also possible to shape the baps, prove them in the fridge over night and bake in the morning after they come back to room temperature.
25 days ago
Can I make the sponge overnight and put it in the fridge and then next morning do the dough.
25 days ago
Teresa hall
Thank you. I’m making these tomorrow
4 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Teresa - I bake bread mostly in fan oven and so it's 200C fan.
4 months ago
What fan oven setting please
4 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Andy - 450g is 450ml, I usually find it easier to weigh out liquids but I've now updated for consistency with the rest of the recipe.
6 months ago
Andy p
450g of water ?
6 months ago

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