“Heavy-Fired” Bread Buns Sold at English Market Spark Heated Debate

Photos of charred-looking bread buns being sold at a market in Manchester have been going viral online, with some calling them a delicacy and others billing them as inedible.

The “heavy fired” roll has apparently been a staple of Scottish bakeries for several decades. They are supposed to have an overcooked, black crust and be airy and slightly chewy inside, and while some people describe them as addictive, delicious, or spot-on, their charred interior puts a lot of people off. A heated debate between the two camps recently went viral on social media, after photos of some heavy-fired buns sold at a market in Manchester started doing the rounds online.

“These are beautiful, Jesus. I always grab a dozen when in Hyde and the oven bottoms for my son and husband but they tried one and now are addicted,” one woman commented on the photo.

“They are called well-fired rolls and they are actually really nice,” someone else wrote.

“I’m Scottish and these are well-fired rolls and they sell out by 8 am back home. My favorite with square slice and brown sauce,” another fan chimed in.


However, some people either couldn’t imagine putting a charred bread bun anywhere near their mouth or warned about the danger of eating burnt food in general, due to it reportedly being carcinogenic.

“Definitely carcinogenic. Be careful,” one person wrote. In 2018, Scotland’s food standards agency did warn consumers to limit their consumption of heavy-fired buns due to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical known as acrylamide.

On the other hand, according to Cancer Research, “acrylamide from burnt toast, burnt chips, or crispy potatoes is unlikely to increase the risk of cancer. Good quality studies have not shown that acrylamide from food causes cancer in humans.”


That only leaves the unappetizing look of the bread buns to worry about, but fans claim that the taste more than makes up for that.

So there you go, if you ever feel like making bread or bread buns at home and you accidentally leave them in the oven until they become burned to a crisp, you can simply say you made a Scottish delicacy known as well-fired rolls or heavy-fired rolls.

Photo: Tomek Augustyn/Flickr