Alternative names bla, blah
Course Usually breakfast or lunch
Place of origin Ireland
Region or state Waterford and Co. Kilkenny
Main ingredients white flour
Ingredients generally used yeast, sugar, water, salt
Cookbook: Blaa  Media: Blaa

A blaa /blɑː/, or Waterford Blaa, is a doughy, white bread bun (roll) speciality; particularly associated with Waterford, Ireland.[1] It is currently made in Waterford and County Kilkenny[2][3] and was historically made in Wexford.

Blaas are sold in two varieties: "soft" and "crusty".[4][5] Soft blaas are slightly sweet, malt flavour, light but firm in texture and melt in the mouth. Crusty blaas are crunchy at first bite, then chewy with a subtle malt taste and a pleasing bitter aftertaste from the well cooked, dark crust.[3]


Blaas quickly lose their freshness and are best consumed within a few hours of purchase.[5]

A combined 12,000 blaas are sold each day[6] by the four remaining bakeries producing blaas:[7] Walsh’s Bakehouse,[8] Kilmacow Bakery, Barron’s Bakery & Coffee House[9] and Hickey’s Bakery.[10]. Of the four remaining bakeries, only two remain in Waterford City.[5]

Eaten mainly at breakfast with butter,[5] they are also eaten at other times of the day with a wide variety of fillings (including a type of luncheon meat often referred to as "red lead"[5]). The breakfast blaa (egg, bacon rasher and sausage) is more common than the breakfast roll in Waterford.

Blaas are sometimes confused with a similar bun known as a bap; however, blaas are square in shape, softer, and doughier, and are most notably identified by the white flour shaken over them before the baking process.[11]


Some sources report that the blaa was introduced to Waterford at the end of the 17th century by the Huguenots;[3][5][12] the word is thought to have been derived from the French word for white, blanc. This theory is disputed because although white flour existed in the 17th century,[5][13] it was not widely used until mass production of the industrial revolution.[14] Another possibility is a derivation from the French word blé, which is used for certain types of flour, or the Latin root "blandus" which gives the English word "bland" and the Spanish word for soft, blando.

On 19 November 2013, the blaa was awarded Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Commission.[15]

See also


  1. Healy, Alison. “Waterford’s blaa roll bakers honoured in awards”, The Irish Times, Tuesday 18 November 2008.
  2. pixel-industry. "Waterford Blaa - Homepage". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 "Waterford Blaa Specification" (PDF). Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. "Our Blaa - Hickey's Bakery". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Ruggeri, Amanda (6 February 2018). "The bread that changed how the Irish eat breakfast". BBC News Online. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  6. "The Waterford Blaa" (PDF). Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. "Corned Beef, Guinness And ... Blaa? The Irish Bread You Never Knew About". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. "Walsh's Bakehouse Waterford: Traditional Bakery & Home of the Waterford Blaa". Walsh’s Bakehouse. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  9. "Barron's Bakery & Coffee Shop, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  10. "Welcome to Hickey's Bakery - Hickey's Bakery". Hickey's Bakery. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  11. "Blaa blaa blaa: Waterford bap considered for EU protected statuss",, 8 September 2011.
  12. "Traditional Waterford Food". Archived from the original on 2010-07-19.
  13. "Industrial Revolution". Kaslo Sourdough Bakery. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  14. "Flour". Wikipedia. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  15. "Waterford blaa awarded special status by EU". The Irish Times. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.