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 Co. Kilkenny.[2][3][4]

Waterford Blaa, bla or blah (bread of Ireland).jpg
Alternative namesbla, blah
CourseUsually breakfast or lunch
Place of originIreland
Region or stateWaterford
Main ingredientswhite flour
Ingredients generally usedyeast, sugar, water, salt

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ Healy, Alison. "Waterford’s blaa roll bakers honoured in awards", The Irish Times, Tuesday 18 November 2008.
  2. ^ pixel-industry. "Waterford Blaa - Homepage". Waterfordblaa.ie. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Waterford Blaa Specification" (PDF). Agriculture.gov.ie. 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". Hickeysbakery.ie. 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). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Corned Beef, Guinness And ... Blaa? The Irish Bread You Never Knew About". Npr.org. 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". Barronsbakery.ie. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Hickey's Bakery - Hickey's Bakery". Hickey's Bakery. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Traditional Waterford Food". discoverwaterfordcity.ie. 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", Thejournal.ie, 8 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Waterford blaa awarded special status by EU". The Irish Times. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2016.

External linksEdit