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Bridgwater Manchit


(Or Bridgwater Manchip)

A form of rich bread cake associated with the town of Bridgwater.

Known from local reports and this from the 'Western Daily Press' - Saturday 12 February 1938, p11; "...of those Norman words, introduced at the time of the Conquest, like "manchet" which is still used for sort of cross between lardy cake and a fancy pastry at Bridgwater and Highbridge."

Our correspondent, Tony Woolrich, Hon. Curator of The Blake Museum in Bridgwater, reports that; "They are still made by a few local bakers. One such is Judith's Bakery in St John Street."

The origin of the name is unclear. While it is most likely to derive from the earlier usage of 'manchip', 'manchet', &c as the title of an enriched bread, it may have been reinforced by the fact that the Mayor of Bridgwater in 1892-3 and 1902-3 was Thomas Manchip.

Original Receipt supplied by Tony Woolrich, Hon. Curator, The Blake Museum, Bridgwater, 18/08/2016

Bridgwater Manchips Recipe 1.

2 ozs. Fresh yeast or l oz dried Yeast.
2 ozs. Sugar.
¼ pint Water (Warm)
2 ozs. Lard.
12 ozs. White bread flour.
1 teaspoon Salt.
2 ozs. Butter.
Red Jam
1 tablespoon Sugar. 1 tablespoon Milk

Add warm water to yeast, rub lard into flour, add yeast liquid.
Knead well, at least 5 mins.
Leave to rise.
Soften butter.
Roll out dough ¼ inch thick, spread with 1/3 of the butter, fold up.
Repeat twice more.
Roll out to oblong, brush all over with water, cut into pieces 3x4 inches. Spread lightly with jam, fold over, prove in a warm place 30mins or until well risen. Bake about 10mins at 400F. Brush with glaze as soon as cooked, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bridgwater Manchips Recipe 2

8 oz Flour.
Pinch of Salt.
3 oz Margarine.
1/8 pint Milk (approx)
½ oz Yeast.
1 Egg.
2 oz Castor Sugar

Sieve flour and salt, rub in margarine.
Warm milk and beat in the yeast with a little of it.
Pour the milk/yeast into middle of flour, add beaten egg.
Beat thoroughly.
Cover with a cloth, put dough to rise in a warm place until double the size (takes 1 ½ hours)
Add castor sugar, beat well and firm into squares. approx 12.
Put onto a tray and prove until double the size.
Roll out, brush edges with milk.
Put jam on one side of square.
Brush with sugar water.
Cook in hot oven 450F, Gas Mk 8 for 20mins.

See 'Manchet'

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