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.

But apart from the fact that wholemeal bread is better for your gut, a homemade bread roll even if completely white, soft and pillowy, will still be better for you than anything from the supermarket bread shelf.

Just check the list of ingredients: if there’s anything you wouldn’t ever keep in your store cupboard, be sure it’s not very healthy.

Breakfast baps

Baps have fallen from grace - unfairly so! Because 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 your baps 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. Plus, the overnight fermenting in the fridge is amusingly called ‘cold retard’.

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 and the commitment of spending half the day mixing, kneading and watching the dough rise.

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 again 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 overall time indication, which might daunt a less experienced baker who doesn’t realise there’s about a tenth of actual working time in it. But that’s better than an empty promise of bread ready in half an hour isn’t it?

The recipe is courtesy of Dan Lepard and his book, ‘Short and Sweet’ which has served me incredibly well over the years.

baps made by cuisine fiend

More bread rolls recipes

Just as soft and fluffy as baps but even richer: bridge rolls, the ultimate dinner roll.

You can happily use baps to encase a burger but if you insist on a dedicated bun, here are proper burger buns.

And yet more bountiful brioche buns, made from versatile enriched bread dough. Also good for burgers.

More white bread recipes

Pain de mie, the ultimate sandwich loaf, should be baked in a lidded Pullman tin.

Hokkaido milk bread is the soft and wonderful Japanese loaf. Also comes in bread roll version.

And the best known Jewish traditional challah bread, with the characteristic plait and glossy egg wash glaze.

soft white baps

Servings: makes 9 large bapsTime: 3 hours
Rating: (7 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.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

5. Bake the baps for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Elizabeth - fingers crossed.
5 months ago
Elizabeth Koch
Making baps today. Did the overnight fermentation now doing the final proofing. Hope they are going to be good.
5 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Jonathan - you're very right, if you try not to deflate the dough too much they'll come out better.
5 months ago
Jonathan Gee
Hi again. I've now made these little beauties quite a few times. (Almost daily!) For best, lightest results, the less working the dough has AFTER its 15 minute rest, the better. I just weigh and shape each piece. For personal preference, I make 11 slightly smaller pieces, about 120g each.
5 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Gina - it gives the baps slightly softer texture.
6 months ago
Why the cornflour?
6 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Jonathan - thank you for such a helpful comment! I'm pleased you enjoy the old-fashioned baps.
6 months ago
Jonathan Gee
This recipe worked brilliantly. The baps were loved by all that tried them. It was a taste of yesteryear. When working it in my 45 Yr old Kenwood Chef mixer, the recipe is right. When the gluten has developed properly it does come away from the bowl. If you have followed the quantities correctly, if it is sticky, you haven't worked it enough. Thanks.
6 months ago
The dough was so sticky, it was impossible to work with. I followed the recipe to a T, used bread flour and measured out all the ingredients. The dough didn’t move away from the bowl during kneading with a dough hook. I left the dough to proof overnight in the fridge and it was still sticky. Added a tonne of flour and even used oil to make it less sticky and shaped it into rounds. After baking the rounds, it tastes very good but I think the dough is too wet so the insides was not as fluffy as I expected it to be. I will try next time with less liquid and less yeast. Thanks for the recipe!
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Jill - unfortunately not possible to post pics in comments, but I'm really happy your baps are successful. Full marks for working by hand!
2 years ago
Hi Anna. Thanks for your quick response - yes that was my partner's thought. Today, as it was my first attempt, I split the dough and made 4 baps and a loaf, both are beautiful - would send a pic but don't know how to attach??. The dough was beautiful to work with - hard work as it was all by hand, but well worth the result??
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Jill - that's a very good question. My first thought is that it's not always odd but what best will fit a baking tray: 9, 12 etc. but I don't know for sure. Nothing stopping you from making 10! And thank you for your kind words!
2 years ago
Hi Anna. I love your videos. I'm making your bap recipe for the first time today - fingers crossed. Out of interest, do you know why bread roll and bap recipes make an uneven no of 9 pieces?
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Nicky - it is quite a sticky dough but it should become manageable after sufficiently long kneading/mixing. If it's really runny (it depends on flour too), dust the work surface and your hands with flour liberally several times while working the dough.
2 years ago
nicky henderson
Why is dough so wet
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Good luck!
2 years ago
Thanks so so much Anna. I much appreciate it. Can’t wait to try them on the weekend..!
2 years 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!
2 years 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..!
2 years 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.
2 years ago
Can I make the sponge overnight and put it in the fridge and then next morning do the dough.
2 years ago
Teresa hall
Thank you. I’m making these tomorrow
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Teresa - I bake bread mostly in fan oven and so it's 200C fan.
2 years ago
What fan oven setting please
2 years 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.
3 years ago
Andy p
450g of water ?
3 years ago

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