Bath bun

The Bath bun is a sweet roll made from a milk-based yeast dough with crushed sugar sprinkled on top after baking.[1][2] Variations in ingredients include enclosing a lump of sugar in the bun [3] or adding candied fruit peel, currants, raisins or sultanas.

Bath bun
Culture... a bath bun and a pot of tea, Bath, United Kingdom (9605677635).jpg
TypeSweet roll
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Region or stateSomerset
Main ingredientsSugar, candied fruit peel, currants or raisins or sultanas

The change from a light, shaped bun to a heavier, often fruited or highly sugared irregular one may date from the Great Exhibition of 1851 when almost a million were produced and consumed in five and a half months (the "London Bath bun").[2]

References to Bath buns date from 1763,[4] and Jane Austen wrote in a letter of "disordering my stomach with Bath Bunns" in 1801.[1] The original 18th-century recipe used a brioche or rich egg and butter dough which was then covered with caraway seeds[5] coated in several layers of sugar, similar to French dragée.[3]

The bun's creation is attributed to William Oliver in the 18th century.[6] Oliver also created the Bath Oliver dry biscuit after the bun proved too fattening for his rheumatic patients.[7] The bun may also have descended from the 18th-century "Bath cake". The buns are still produced in the Bath area of England.[4]

Although this is disputed, the 18th-century '"Bath cake" may also have been the forerunner of the Sally Lunn bun, which also originates from Bath.[3][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b John Ayto (18 October 2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9.
  2. ^ a b David, Elizabeth (2001). English Bread and Yeast Cookery. Penguin. p. 624. ISBN 978-0140299748.
  3. ^ a b c "Local Bath Delicacies". Visit Bath. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Bath". About Britain. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b Davidson, Alan, "Bun" in Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 114. ISBN 0-19-211579-0
  6. ^ Bender, David A. "Bath bun", in A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition, Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ "Biography of Dr Oliver". Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2006-03-24.

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