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Waterford Blaa – Irish Bread Rolls

Waterford Blaa recipe makes large soft and tender Irish Bread rolls. Blaa bread is perfect with a slather of Irish butter or makes a delicious sandwich bread.

Top down view of baked Waterford Blaa rolls sitting on parchment paper.

Waterford Blaa recipe is an easy yeast bread roll to make. They’re our family’s favorite go-to bread roll recipe.

Once you’ve sunk your teeth into these pillowy soft, melt-in-your-mouth bread rolls, this Waterford Blaa recipe will be your bread roll of choice too.

A year ago, one of my bread baking friends posted her Waterford Blaa Irish Bread recipe. The picture of those rolls just haunted me and it wasn’t long before I knew we had to bake up a batch.

We’ve got to come clean here. Our rolls aren’t Waterford Blaa rolls. Let us explain.

3/4 angle view of baked Waterford Blaa Rolls.
What is Waterford Blaa?

Waterford Blaa is an Irish Bread made in Waterford Ireland. Waterford Blaa has gained a protected designation which states they must be made in a certified Waterford Ireland bakery in order to be called a Waterford Blaa roll.

How are Waterford Blaa eaten?

Blaa bread is often eaten at breakfast in Ireland. They can be eaten with just a slather of butter but are often eaten as a sandwich with bacon or lunchmeat.

How are traditional Blaa rolls made?

Over 12,000 Blaas are sold each day in Waterford. Bakers often bake them close together on a baking sheet so they often have more of a square shape than our round rolls. They’re distinguished by a dusting of white flour.

Knowing that we couldn’t officially call our rolls Irish Waterford Blaa, didn’t stop us from making this Irish Bread Roll recipe however.

A bread roll cut in half showing the soft interior.

Ingredients you need to make Blaas

The ingredients in this recipe make them easy to make in any kitchen. Traditional Irish Blaa ingredients are noted.

  • Bread flour – Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour.
    • If you choose to use all-purpose flour, you may need less liquid because of the lower protein content.
  • Yeast – We used instant yeast, also called rapid rise yeast. Traditional recipes often use an active yeast that’s made into a sponge.
  • Sugar – White granular sugar.
  • Salt – We use fine sea salt in our baking. We believe that it dissolves better and we often add it to the liquid instead of the dry ingredients.
  • Unsalted Butter – We use real butter.
A baked roll dusted with flour sitting on a white plate with the pan of rolls sitting in the background.

How to make Waterford Blaa Recipe

This recipe is for 12 rolls. However, we frequently double the recipe.

  1. Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Add the salt, butter, and flour to the yeast mixture. Mix until just combined using the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon.
  3. Exchange the paddle attachment for a dough hook or knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
    • The dough may be sticky but resist adding additional flour.
  4. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and place it in a warm area to rise until doubled, approximately 45 minutes.
    • If it’s cool or dry when you bake, it may take longer to rise. If it’s warm or more humid, it may take less time. Just start watching them when to they’ve risen for approximately 40 minutes.
    • The dough may be sticky. Flour your hands in order to handle it.
  5. Line a 9×13 baking dish or cake pan with parchment paper and then dust it liberally with flour.
  6. Divide the dough into individual rolls.
    • For very large rolls, divide 8 times placing the rolls 4 down and 2 across.
    • We usually make 12 rolls and place them 3 across and 4 down.
    • You can also shape them into 15 rolls using the same sized 9×13 pan.
    • For a double batch, we shape them into 24 rolls and use a 10×15 baking dish. They can also be placed free form on a baking sheet.
    • I often weigh my rolls to get a consistent size.
  7. Press each roll into a slightly flat disk with the palm of your hand.
Shaped bread rolls rising in a pan.
Rolls gently flattened
  1. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for about 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Dust the rolls liberally with flour. Bake.
Side by side photos of risen bread rolls and bread rolls dusted with flour.

Tips for making Blaa Bread

  • If it’s cooler or dry when you bake, it may take longer to rise. If it’s warmer or more humid, it may take less time. Just watch them when to approach 40 minutes.
  • The dough may be sticky. Flour your hands in order to handle it. Resist adding more flour to the dough because that can toughen them or make them dense.
  • The number and size of your rolls can affect baking time. If you make smaller rolls, they will bake faster by a few minutes.
  • You don’t have to use a 9×13 pan. You can place them free form on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
3/4 angle of a roll cut in half, buttered and with a bite taken out of it.

How to store freshly baked Waterford Blaa rolls

  • These rolls are best eaten fresh and may be eaten warm or cold.
  • Store uneaten rolls in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
  • Bread may be frozen in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Let the rolls thaw at room temperature.
  • To freshen place in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds or place in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

Make bread crumbs – Stale bread can be made into bread crumbs. We tear up the bread and allow it to dry further. Put the bread pieces in a food processor and process until you have a coarse texture. Bread crumbs can be frozen in an air-tight container.

Supplies we used

  • 9×13 baking dish – You could also use a baking sheet.
  • Mixing bowl – We like using glass so we can monitor how the dough is rising.
  • Parchment paper – Parchment paper is heat-rated. This parchment paper can withstand my hottest temperatures!
  • Scale – We measure our dough to get the same-sized rolls.

We LOVE baking bread! You can find all of our bread recipes here!

Bread recipes perfect for St. Patrick’s Day

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Three photo collage for pinterest of a pan of baked bread rolls, a pan of unbaked rolls and an individual roll with a bite taken out of it.
Close up of a baked bread roll cut in half showing the soft center sitting on a plate with the pan of baked rolls in the background.
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5 from 8 votes

Waterford Blaa – Irish Bread Roll Recipe

Waterford Blaa are large soft and tender Irish Bread rolls distinguished by a dusting of flour. Blaa bread is perfect with a slather of butter or makes a delicious sandwich bread.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings 12
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  • Add the salt, butter, and flour. Mix until just combined using the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon.
  • Exchange the paddle attachment for a dough hook or knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
  • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and place it in a warm area to rise until doubled, approximately 45 minutes.
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and then dust it liberally with flour.
  • Divide the dough into 12 individual rolls. (See tips for different sized rolls below)
  • Preheat the oven to 410°F
  • Press each roll into a slightly flat disk with the palm of your hand. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for about 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Dust the rolls liberally with flour. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the rolls from the pan by lifting them out with the parchment paper onto a cooling rack.
  • Rolls can be served warm or cooled.

Notes

This recipe originated from Karen’s Kitchen Stories.
  • Rolls can be shaped in 8 large rolls to 15 smaller rolls using the same sized 9×13 pan.
  • If it’s cooler or dry when you bake, it may take longer to rise. If it’s warmer or more humid, it may take less time. Just watch them when they approach 40 minutes.
  • The dough may be sticky. Flour your hands in order to handle it. Resist adding more flour to the dough because that can toughen them or make them dense.
  • The number and size of your rolls can affect baking time. If you make smaller rolls, they will bake faster by a few minutes.
  • You don’t have to use a 9×13 pan. You can place them free form on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!
Recipe Rating




Carmen

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

I love the explanations, so detailed! I'm going to save this recipe and will make blaa rolls pretty soon. Thanks for another beautiful recipe!

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Thank you so much, Carmen! These rolls are very good and absolutely my go to!

Kathleen

Monday 1st of March 2021

I had thought I had heard of it all, but I have never heard of Blaa bread and well, now I am in love! Haha! Cannot wait to try these!

Michele

Monday 1st of March 2021

Good thing you told me to make a double batch... used them for a sandwich and had to have a second one!

Julie Menghini

Monday 1st of March 2021

They are that good right? Thank you, Michele!

Adrianne

Saturday 27th of February 2021

These bread rolls look so soft and fluffy! I would love to give them a go. The fresh deliciousness of them would make them the perfect accompaniment to any meal, thanks!

Julie Menghini

Monday 1st of March 2021

They're delicious, Adrianne! Give them a go.

Sara Welch

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Enjoyed this as a sandwich for lunch today, and it does not disappoint! Perfectly light and fluffy and easy too!

Julie Menghini

Monday 1st of March 2021

Thank you, Sara! They're perfect for a delicious sandwich.