Posted by: Jack Henry | September 20, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Baking with Brits

Good morning, folks! I hope this finds you all in good cheer.

Today’s topic is vocabulary. More specifically, it is vocabulary from The Great British Baking Show, which has just returned to Netflix®. I was watching the other evening to see what amazing things people can do with flour, and I jotted down a handful of words that I was not very familiar with. You may ask, “Don’t they speak English in England?” Well, yes, they do, but there are Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, and people from former British colonies in the contest, and they have many terms that aren’t the same as American English. Here are a few things you might hear:

  • stodgy (adjective)

1a: having a thick gluey consistency

b: having a thick texture: heavy—used especially of food

Every now and then, the hosts will describe a cake as “stodgy,” when the contestants serve up a layered sponge cake that hasn’t risen very well.

  • bap (noun)

chiefly Scottish

: a small loaf or roll of bread

In this case, the hosts were talking about a “crusty bap,” but it was cake week, so I don’t think that was a compliment.

  • claggy (adjective)

1 dialectal : sticky, gummy

Again, this comment is usually delivered with the judges scrunching up their faces and returning most of their forkful of cake to the plate. Just saying the word “claggy” sticks in your throat—give it a try.

  • chuffed (adjective)


: quite pleased : delighted

I love this word. I must admit, I heard it much more in the Junior Bake Off, when the kids said they were “so chuffed to be (there)” making some delicious-looking desserts.

  • pebble dash (noun)

: a mixture (as of mortar) prepared to be dashed against a moist surface to make a finishing coat (KC – in this case, pebbles).

I know, that doesn’t sound very delicious. It is a “finish” for houses (I got the impression it was for less expensive homes in Britain), but it is also a technique for cakes. Here is the mortar and pebble siding for a home (the pebbles are just thrown into the mortar):

And here is a pebble-dashed cake (in this case, with Post Fruity Pebbles™):

If you’re looking for some entertainment, nice looking (usually) baked goods, and some new vocabulary, I definitely recommend this show.

Kara Church | Technical Editor, Advisory | Technical Publications

Pronouns: she/her | (619) 542-6773 |

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