Have you ever heard of a Waterford blaa? I didn’t know about them until this year, when Mom was researching Irish cuisine in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. Waterford blaas are white rolls with a soft interior and floury crust, and are quite popular in Ireland. They’re so beloved by the Irish people that the Waterford blaas gained Protected Geographical Indication from the European Union–the only Irish bread to gain this status. Only four bakeries in Waterford County, Ireland, are licensed to make and sell Waterford blaas. Among these bakeries, they sell 12,000 blaas each day!
Blaas were actually brought over from France by the Huguenots when they immigrated to Ireland. They brought their special white flour with them and taught the locals how to make the blaas. Aren’t you glad this simple recipe is still around today?
The Irish often enjoy buttered blaas stuffed with Irish bacon at breakfast, but they also use them for sandwiches such as the chip butty (aka French fry sandwich!). I think blaas taste great on their own, but making them into a sandwich really takes them to the next level!
Even if you’re a novice bread baker, I encourage you to make this recipe. The dough becomes beautifully smooth and supple when you knead it, and turns into lovely soft buns as it’s baked. Although I’ve never been to Waterford City, Ireland to taste an authentic Waterford blaa, it would be very exciting visit this part of Ireland and experience this awesome bread fresh from one of the four bakeries! 😉 The ingredients for this recipe is from the blog Lea & Jay, but I’ve changed the directions to reflect my usual breadmaking methods.
Hungry for more Irish food? Try these other delicious Irish recipes!
Oregano Onion Soda Bread: a savory, moist loaf of Irish soda bread.
Irish Boxty Bread: a no-yeast potato bread that will leave you wanting another piece!Print
This easy recipe for Waterford blaas shows you how to make these traditional Irish white bread rolls. These homemade rolls make amazing sandwiches, and taste good just with butter! Eat like the Irish and try them at breakfast. You’ll love these crusty, pull apart buns with a soft center.
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour (500g)
- 2 teaspoons fine salt (10g)
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, chilled (10g)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar (10g)
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
- about 1 1/4 cup filtered water (300 ml)
Making the Dough (25 minutes + 1 hour proving)
- Warm the water to 115 F.
- Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and yeast.
- Gradually stir in the water, mixing until a soft, slightly sticky dough has formed and all the flour is picked up from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth, no longer sticks to the work surface, and passes the windowpane test. Test the dough by stretching a small piece of dough between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. The dough should stretch until it’s translucent in places. If not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough prove until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Shaping the Buns (15 minutes + 50 minutes proving)
- Lightly flour a 11 by 17-inch rimmed cookie sheet.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the air.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, using a kitchen scale for accuracy.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then lightly roll the ball in flour. Flatten each ball with a rolling pin to shape it into a square with rounded corners. Space the buns an inch or two apart on the prepared tray, then dust them with additional bread flour using a small sieve.
- Place the tray inside a large, clean garbage bag and inflate the bag. Tuck the ends under the tray to seal, then set in a warm place. Let the buns prove until they’re doubled in size, about 50 minutes.
- About 10 minutes before the buns are done proving, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Baking the Buns (15 minutes baking)
- Bake the buns in the middle of the oven at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes, until they’re golden brown and have an internal temperature of about 200 F.
- Let the buns cool briefly on a wire rack before slicing in half and serving. Use these Waterford blaas for a traditional Irish chip butty sandwich.