Alternative namesbla, blah
CourseUsually breakfast or lunch
Place of originIreland
Region or stateWaterford
Main ingredientswhite flour
Ingredients generally usedyeast, sugar, water, salt

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 South County Kilkenny.[2][3][4]

Blaas are sold in two varieties: "soft" and "crusty".[5][6] 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]

Eaten mainly at breakfast with butter,[6] 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"[6]). The breakfast blaa (egg, bacon rasher and sausage) is more common than the breakfast roll in Waterford.[citation needed]

A combined 12,000 blaas are sold each day[7] by the four remaining bakeries producing blaas:[8] Walsh's Bakehouse,[9] Kilmacow Bakery, Barron's Bakery & Coffee House[10] and Hickey's Bakery.[11] Of the four remaining bakeries, only two remain in Waterford City.[6] Blaas quickly lose their freshness and are best consumed within a few hours of purchase.[6]

Some sources report that the blaa was introduced to Waterford at the end of the 17th century by the Huguenots.[3][6][12] This theory is disputed because although white flour existed in the 17th century,[6][13] it was not widely used until mass production of the industrial revolution.

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.[14]

On 19 November 2013, the Waterford 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" Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, The Irish Times, Tuesday 18 November 2008.
  2. ^ pixel-industry. "Waterford Blaa - Homepage". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Waterford Blaa Specification" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Official Journal of the European Union". Official Journal of the European Union.
  5. ^ "Our Blaa - Hickey's Bakery". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Ruggeri, Amanda (6 February 2018). "The bread that changed how the Irish eat breakfast". BBC News Online. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  7. ^ "The Waterford Blaa" (PDF). Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Corned Beef, Guinness And ... Blaa? The Irish Bread You Never Knew About". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Walsh's Bakehouse Waterford: Traditional Bakery & Home of the Waterford Blaa". Walsh’s Bakehouse. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Barron's Bakery & Coffee Shop, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Hickey's Bakery - Hickey's Bakery". Hickey's Bakery. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Traditional Waterford Food". Archived from the original on 19 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Industrial Revolution". Kaslo Sourdough Bakery. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Blaa blaa blaa: Waterford bap considered for EU protected statuss",, 8 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Waterford blaa awarded special status by EU". The Irish Times. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2016.