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Waterford Blaas Recipe, ready to eat.

How to Make Waterford Blaas

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Have you heard of blaas? It’s common in Ireland — especially County Waterford — and my Waterford Blaas recipe results in a floury bread roll, soft, and endlessly delicious.


Hi Everyone!

This is Patricia Stafford (Gemma’s Mum) sharing my recipe for a famous bread I grew up on in Waterford, Ireland called blaas.  

Waterford Blaas are something that, if you have ever been to County Waterford in Ireland, you will have probably come across. This recipe is found only in Waterford, where the world-famous crystal glass also comes from. Similar to how Champagne can only really be made in the Champagne region of France, if blaas are made outside of County Waterford, then they are no longer considered blaa rolls, but a regular bread roll instead (but mine are blaas).

It’s believed to have been brought to Waterford and the South East by the French during the reformation. The blaa is a soft, white, floury bread roll, similar to a Bap or Hamburger Bun. It is highly popular here in Ireland, especially in Waterford City and County. They are also made in Kilkenny and Clonmel, both originally Norman walled towns.  

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Because of the huge demand for blaa rolls, and in an effort to increase production, many Waterford bakers place the round dough pieces close to each other on the baking tray. During fermentation, the round dough pieces expand and batch together, so they bake out in a square, rather than a round shape. Prior to baking, the trays of rolls are dusted liberally with white flour. The dusting flour does not take on colour in the oven and remains white.

 

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What Makes Authentic Waterford “Blaas?”

The origin of the name blaa is debated, though some would say it comes from the French word for corn “Blé.” A true, authentic Blaa should be made from naturally fermented dough, and the rounded dough pieces should be given a prolonged proof prior to baking. This traditional method gives the blaa its distinctive flavour. My recipe describes how to make blaa rolls by proving it once, then knocking back the dough gently. After that, it’s proving, shaping, and proving again before dusting with flour and baking. It’s this which gives them their special flavor. This process cannot be rushed, and if it is, then your blaa rolls will be a totally different thing!

I hope you enjoy it,

Patricia xx.

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4.54 from 13 votes
Waterford Blaas Recipe, ready to eat.
Waterford Blaas Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
proofing
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
 

Have you heard of blaas? It's common in Ireland — especially County Waterford — and my Waterford Blaas recipe results in a floury bread roll, soft, and endlessly delicious.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 12
Author: Patricia Stafford
Ingredients
  • cup (5floz/142ml) warm water
  • 1 1/2 (.5oz/14g) tablespoons dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 floz/300ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups (1 3/4 lbs/780g) bread flour
Instructions
  1. In a small jug add the warm water, yeast, and sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow standing for about 5 minutes to activate and bubble.

  2. Add the salt to the flour and mix well.
  3. Add the yeasty water to the flour along with the remaining water bit by bit, stirring with a whisk or in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. (Note: Only add enough water for your dough to form a ball and clean the bottom of the bowl)

  4. Once the dough comes together into a nice clean ball knead the dough, by hand or in your stand mixer with the dough hook for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the dough should feel smooth and elastic, stretching without breaking.
  5. Put the dough into a large oiled bowl, and allow to proof for about one hour in a warm spot.
  6. After one hour the dough should have at least doubled in size. If you press your finger into the dough it shouldn't bounce back. That means it's proofed enough. 

  7. Knock the air out of the dough then return it to the bowl for a second proof. This should take about 30 minutes.
  8. After the second proofing turn the dough onto a floured table and gently cut it into 12 even-sized pieces. About (90g/3oz) in weight. 

  9. Roll gently between your palms to shape each roll into a nice round shape. Place the rolls about 1 inch apart in a pan (about 9 inches x 13 inches).

  10. Cover the rolls with cling wrap and allow to proof once more for 30 minutes to an hour. At this point the dough ferments, giving these rolls their distinctive flavor.

  11. Dust the top of the rolls with a bit of flour and bake in a 425°F ( 210°C) in a pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. These rolls should have crisp bottoms when fully baked. They should not be too brown on top.

  12. Enjoy with Irish butter and rashers (or bacon) in the middle. Store at room temperature for 2 days. These rolls freeze well for up to 6 weeks also. 

Recipe Notes

Serve with butter and jam! This was a breakfast roll, available from early in the morning when I was a child. Someone would be sent to get them in the morning for an occasional treat. They would be warm and delicious. These are best on the day they are made, but can be frozen and refreshed in a hot oven.

For Waterford people this is a sacred thing, proceed with caution!

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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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42 Comments

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  1. Robin Ikaika on September 25, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Can you use almond or coconut flour….I’m doing Ketogenics.
    Thank you.

  2. Sahadev on August 30, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Hi, if we are using instant dry yeast, then what is the quantity of yeast we are supposed to use?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 31, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Great question! So the math there is use when you want to use fresh you double the weight. I just added the grams there which are 14grams so you would need 1oz/28grams of fresh yeast.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

    • Sahadev on August 31, 2019 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Gemma,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I meant using ‘instant dry yeast’ instead of the ‘active dry yeast’ that you have mentioned in your comment.

      I understand that ‘instant dry yeast’ and ‘active dry yeast’ are both the same essentially, but ‘active dry yeast’ needs to be mixed in blood temperature water to be activated and always has a risk of killing the yeast if the water temperature is higher than the blood temperature or not getting it activated if it is lower than the blood temperature as some of us cannot really figure out when the water reached blood temperature as some people have warmer hands while some people have colder hands, while the ‘instant dry yeast’ can be mixed directly into the ingredients.

      Hence, I would like to know if we are using ‘instant dry yeast’ (not fresh yeast as we do not get fresh yeast easily in India and I am assuming in many places across the World) in this recipe, will the quantity for ‘instant dry yeast’ remain 14g as you have mentioned in your recipe?

      • Gemma Stafford on September 1, 2019 at 4:28 am

        Hi there,
        yes! the quantity will be the same. Sponging is easy really, dip your finger into the water you are using and it should feel only barely warm. It is a great way to ensure the yeast is active, even cool water will spong the yeast in about 5 minutes.
        Active dry yeast is often better value to buy too, and often Instant is not widely available. Do not worry, try it, it is easy when you do!
        Gemma 🙂

  3. Ann Cummins on August 26, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Hi, I thought there was a video with this recipe but maybe I am mistaken, I haven’t made them yet but will as my husband loves blaas as he is a Waterford man. Irish Ann living in Portugal

    • Gemma Stafford on August 26, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Hi Ann. I’m sorry but there is no video on this well-loved recipe for Waterford blaas. The recipe is detailed enough that it be easily followed. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

  4. Bridgette Spencer on August 18, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I don’t have any bread flour.What is the difference in bread flour an alpurporpiuse in making these rolls?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 18, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Bridgette,

      You can use all purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour. Very likely you will not need all the water if you change the flour.

      The difference is a few % in gluten. All purpose has gluten just not AS much as bread flour. Bread flour tends to make a more bubbly textures bread.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. Susan on August 5, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I did it! They’re awesome and quite pretty!! It is a keeper!???? Thank you! Tried to upload a picture but it kept getting an error message.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2019 at 3:35 am

      Hi Susan,
      thank you for this lovely review, and for baking this traditional roll, or Blaa, as they say in Waterford.
      Delighted you got a good result. The error message I will report to the tech guys, the site is undergoing an upgrade right now, that may explain it!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Susan on August 5, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Lovely, I’m going to make these! One question though…should the flower be shifted?
    Thank you!
    Susan

    • Gemma Stafford on August 6, 2019 at 5:13 am

      Hi Susan.
      I know you got there with this recipe. This is a good question!
      Modern flours do not need to be sifted in the same way as they used to, the idea back then was to remove impurities. Now we do it to get some air in there, to lighten bakes such as sponge cakes. For bread, do what is easy for you.
      Thank you for your input,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Marianne08 on August 3, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Hi Patricia and Gemma, I made this in the morning and had it for tea together with some homemade blueberry jam and butter. Loved it!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Marianne,

      I’m thrilled to hear that! Thanks so much for trying it out and updating us. I have lots more where this came from.

      all the best,
      Pat.

  8. Cherir on August 2, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Can I use plain flour for this recipe

    • Gemma Stafford on August 3, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      Yes you can, just note that the amount of water now might vary. Sometimes you need a little more with plain flour.

      Just add the water bit by bit.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Elizabeth on August 2, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Hi Gemma for the best ever brownie recipe what brand of chocolate chips do you use I was planing on using Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Chips, Bittersweet Chocolate, 10 oz. is that a good kind to use or not if not can you tell me what kind you recommend Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I use Ghirardelli. it’s one of the best :).

      Best,
      Gemma

  10. Pamela Hadi on August 2, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Hi there
    I’ve started the buns and am wondering if the baking pan should be greased? Thank you!
    Pam

    • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Pam,

      yes please do grease the baking pan.

      Let me know how they turn out 🙂
      Gemma.

      • Pamcups on August 7, 2019 at 5:20 pm

        My first attempt, ever, at any type of bread and they were absolutely delicious! I had to eat the first one hot from the oven with butter and jam! Thanks to your mum for this recipe!

        • Gemma Stafford on August 8, 2019 at 1:56 am

          I am so delighted to hear this Pam, and so will my Waterford mum. I already told her they were a hit, she is delighted.
          Waterford people are particular about their Blaas, and also about the recipe, there could be a war!
          Gemma <3

  11. Lisa M Altemose on August 2, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Hello Patricia! Thank you so much for visiting and sharing this lovely recipe! It’s always a pleasure to have you stop by! I can’t wait to try these wonderful rolls! They look so good! I’m curious, though; If these rolls aren’t made in County Waterford, are they truly blaas? LOL Whatever they may be called, I’ll do my best to honor the tradition of these rolls (and you!) when I make them!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      technically outside of Waterford they aren’t called Blaas however, if it looks like a blaa, taste like a blaa then it’s a blaa lol.

      Hope you get to try these out.
      All the best,
      Pat.

  12. Gardeneva on July 31, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Hello Ms. Patricia (Gemma’s Mum): Thanks so very much for your recipe!!!! I made these this evening for dinnertime. I served with chili mac and everyone loved them (I will submit a photo too). DELICIOUS!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that my recipe was a hit!

      Gemma just showed me your photo. Your Blaas are gorgeous!Just like the ones I grew up with.

      All the best,
      Patricia.

  13. Pamela on July 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Lovely recipe and thanks to your mum for sharing! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2019 at 8:05 am

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Pamela! Thanks for trying it out and letting know 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  14. Ann Cummins on July 31, 2019 at 4:02 am

    Hi does the flower have to be bread flower or could you use all purpose flower. I love Waterford blaas. Thanks for the recipe. Irish Ann living in Portugal

    • Gemma Stafford on August 1, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Ann,

      It’s doesn’t HAVE to be bread flour, you can use all purpose but just note that the liquid amount now may vary. All purpose flour needs less liquid so just you really cautious when adding it.

      Let me know how you get on, Ann!
      Gemma.

  15. Heather Anne on July 30, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    I love this – so excited to try these! I think they would go so nicely with my Nanny’s Welsh Stew. When I lived in Canada we got Bap at the bakery all the time, but not here in the US. I think these will taste like my youth! Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 31, 2019 at 1:31 am

      I think your Nanny’s Welsh Stew will be fab with these rolls, always just called ‘Blaas’ in Waterford, as the crow flies just a quick trip from Wales, with a lot in common.
      The name Welsh – or Walsh pronounced as Welsh – is a family surname in Waterford too, so another connection to this, interesting I think,
      Gemma <3

  16. SANDRA RAMIREZ on July 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing Mrs Stafford!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Delighted you like these Sandra. If you make them please share a picture 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

  17. Lydia Parker on July 30, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    When you state using warm water, what temperature does this mean?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Great question. Put your finger in the warm water and if you don’t feel it around you finger that means it is blood temperature which i perfect for bread making 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Lydia Parker on July 31, 2019 at 2:05 am

        Thank you.
        Best,
        Lydia

    • Gardeneva on July 31, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Between 98 and 105 degrees

    • Lisa M Altemose on August 2, 2019 at 9:03 am

      “blood temperature”, a term Gemma and lots of other bakers use. It’s when the liquid feels neither warm nor cool to the touch.

      • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 7:33 pm

        Thanks Lisa 🙂

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