WARBUTONS has been accused of going “barm-y” — after calling barm cakes “rolls”.

The Bolton bakery posted a lighthearted quiz on its Facebook page, asking people what they like to call their favourite bread-based product.

And, controversially, Warbies did not even include “barm” as one of its four options — instead preferring rolls, baps, cobs or “other”.

A member of the bakery’s digital team posted: “We call them rolls, who’s with us? Or do you call them something else?”

And it quickly descended into a heated debate online.

In a not very scientific straw poll carried out by The Bolton News, four out of six shoppers called it a barm, while our own survey on Facebook quickly attracted more than 650 comments, with the majority of people also preferring “barm”.

Even former Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies, originally from Sheffield, got involved in the debate online, tweeting: “Breadcake where I come from!”

The family firm, founded by Thomas and Ellen Warburton in 1896, still has a base in Bolton — including the digital team who posted the gaffe.

However the bakery said all it wanted to do was to ignite a passionate debate with bread lovers from around the country.

Tearmh France, Warburtons' corporate communications manager, said: “Our digital team are from Bolton, as is the bakery itself.

“I’ve had a chat with them and they said that it isn’t a definitive list and if people from Bolton are really passionate about calling it a barm, then go onto our Facebook page and tell us about it.

"We hope we haven’t offended anyone from Bolton. It’s just a fun poll that we thought would start a nice little debate around the country.”


John Carr, at Carrs Pasties, said: “Back in my day we called them flour cakes, but nowadays the most popular term around Bolton and parts of the North West is barm cake.”

The name barm cake arose from the use of barm — the foam formed on the top of beer — to make bread dough rise.

A barm cake traditionally had a strong flavour that came from the barm itself.

Today, the barm cake — or barm for short — is more likely to be made from commercial yeast.