BARMY: Bolton bakery Warburtons sparks controversy as it leaves 'barms' out of bread poll

Barms. Or are they rolls? Surely they're not teacakes.

Barms. Or are they rolls? Surely they're not teacakes.

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , news feature writer

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.”


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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.

Comments (19)

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6:38am Thu 23 Jan 14

remember the time says...

cobs
cobs remember the time
  • Score: -18

7:36am Thu 23 Jan 14

Regulatory Man says...

Wow - Bolton falling to rack and ruin despite the promise of major investment in bus stations, rail stations, cinema complex and the focus is on a bit of bread bap, roll, cob, barm cake, flower cake blah blah blah.

It must be such a joy to go out after completing the journalism course to report on a lighthearted Facebook poll about Warbies bread products.

Good advert for Warbies though eh ;-)
Wow - Bolton falling to rack and ruin despite the promise of major investment in bus stations, rail stations, cinema complex and the focus is on a bit of bread bap, roll, cob, barm cake, flower cake blah blah blah. It must be such a joy to go out after completing the journalism course to report on a lighthearted Facebook poll about Warbies bread products. Good advert for Warbies though eh ;-) Regulatory Man
  • Score: -12

8:53am Thu 23 Jan 14

GoneNow says...

flour cake
flour cake GoneNow
  • Score: 0

10:04am Thu 23 Jan 14

underwater says...

They call them Teacakes in Yorkshire, Rolls in the South but in Bolton they are Barm cakes.
They call them Teacakes in Yorkshire, Rolls in the South but in Bolton they are Barm cakes. underwater
  • Score: 8

10:04am Thu 23 Jan 14

stereo_world says...

remember the time wrote:
cobs
Get off this website.
[quote][p][bold]remember the time[/bold] wrote: cobs[/p][/quote]Get off this website. stereo_world
  • Score: 8

11:44am Thu 23 Jan 14

guesty86 says...

not really bothered as long as they got a lot bacon stuffed in it
not really bothered as long as they got a lot bacon stuffed in it guesty86
  • Score: 14

12:27pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Alfieswhites says...

GoneNow wrote:
flour cake
I`m with you GoneNow.
I`ve always called them flour cake.
[quote][p][bold]GoneNow[/bold] wrote: flour cake[/p][/quote]I`m with you GoneNow. I`ve always called them flour cake. Alfieswhites
  • Score: 3

1:03pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

I call them cheap, doughy overpriced and full of chemicals.
I call them cheap, doughy overpriced and full of chemicals. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: -5

1:10pm Thu 23 Jan 14

cliff4treasurer says...

Bolton Lad 85 says...

"I call them cheap, doughy overpriced and full of chemicals"

And what does the shop keeper say when you ask for them?
Bolton Lad 85 says... "I call them cheap, doughy overpriced and full of chemicals" And what does the shop keeper say when you ask for them? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 10

2:32pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phil from Smithills says...

underwater wrote:
They call them Teacakes in Yorkshire, Rolls in the South but in Bolton they are Barm cakes.
They were certainly called flour cakes in Bolton for years, as a young lad I would go to the local bread shop and order flour cakes.

I fear it was probably Coronation Street's fault, as they called them barm cakes which I understand is a Mancunian name for our flour cake.

Having worked in Manchester for 30 years I have certainly noticed their lingo infecting our Bolton Lancashire word.
[quote][p][bold]underwater[/bold] wrote: They call them Teacakes in Yorkshire, Rolls in the South but in Bolton they are Barm cakes.[/p][/quote]They were certainly called flour cakes in Bolton for years, as a young lad I would go to the local bread shop and order flour cakes. I fear it was probably Coronation Street's fault, as they called them barm cakes which I understand is a Mancunian name for our flour cake. Having worked in Manchester for 30 years I have certainly noticed their lingo infecting our Bolton Lancashire word. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 8

3:30pm Thu 23 Jan 14

arrian says...

remember the time wrote:
cobs
'cobs' are crusty, barmcakes are soft.
[quote][p][bold]remember the time[/bold] wrote: cobs[/p][/quote]'cobs' are crusty, barmcakes are soft. arrian
  • Score: 9

4:16pm Thu 23 Jan 14

shadowfax says...

BARM CAKE IS A MANCUNIAN SAYING.......FLOUR CAKE IS REAL BOLTONIAN
BARM CAKE IS A MANCUNIAN SAYING.......FLOUR CAKE IS REAL BOLTONIAN shadowfax
  • Score: 6

5:17pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Count de Monet says...

shadowfax wrote:
BARM CAKE IS A MANCUNIAN SAYING.......FLOUR CAKE IS REAL BOLTONIAN
I agree 100%, flour cake is the proper name in Bolton.

Barm cake - Manchester/Salford
Bread cake - Yorkshire
Tea cake - Cumbria
Cob - East Midlands

Greenhalghs still call them flour cakes. It's surprising to see that Warburtons didn't include flour cakes in their poll.
[quote][p][bold]shadowfax[/bold] wrote: BARM CAKE IS A MANCUNIAN SAYING.......FLOUR CAKE IS REAL BOLTONIAN[/p][/quote]I agree 100%, flour cake is the proper name in Bolton. Barm cake - Manchester/Salford Bread cake - Yorkshire Tea cake - Cumbria Cob - East Midlands Greenhalghs still call them flour cakes. It's surprising to see that Warburtons didn't include flour cakes in their poll. Count de Monet
  • Score: 2

8:22pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phil from Smithills says...

Warburton's certainly had a range called " flour cakes" along with "oven bottoms", seems they are standardising their product and forgetting their Bolton roots, they also dropped Bolton LANCASHIRE off their address.
Warburton's certainly had a range called " flour cakes" along with "oven bottoms", seems they are standardising their product and forgetting their Bolton roots, they also dropped Bolton LANCASHIRE off their address. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 5

2:02pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Joe. Callaghan says...

There was always both Barm Cakes and Flour Cakes in farnworth shops
Flour cakes are bigger and more floury. That was in the 50s and sixties .
After that they dropped the Flour cakes .

Gyprocjoejoe
There was always both Barm Cakes and Flour Cakes in farnworth shops Flour cakes are bigger and more floury. That was in the 50s and sixties . After that they dropped the Flour cakes . Gyprocjoejoe Joe. Callaghan
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Fri 24 Jan 14

retsof says...

Flour cakes when I bought them from the excellent cake shop at the "Sweet Green" but that was 1950!
Flour cakes when I bought them from the excellent cake shop at the "Sweet Green" but that was 1950! retsof
  • Score: 2

10:24pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Rememberscarborough says...

Do people order sausage/bacon flour cakes?
Do people order sausage/bacon flour cakes? Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 0

12:37am Sat 25 Jan 14

ARBEE says...

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET
JUST ENJOY THEM.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET JUST ENJOY THEM. ARBEE
  • Score: 0

8:46pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Phil from Smithills says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Do people order sausage/bacon flour cakes?
Yes they would have done a few years ago.

I certainly didn't know what a barm cakes was until I started to work in Manchester in the 60's. They also called them muffins.

It was always flour cakes in Bolton Lancashire.
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Do people order sausage/bacon flour cakes?[/p][/quote]Yes they would have done a few years ago. I certainly didn't know what a barm cakes was until I started to work in Manchester in the 60's. They also called them muffins. It was always flour cakes in Bolton Lancashire. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 0

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