My parents don’t live too far away and so I pop round a couple of times a week (usually to be fed!). I had a nice surprise on my latest visit when my parents announced they’d been to Cranleigh and brought me back some lardy rolls.
Now I cannot begin to tell you how much I love lardy rolls. Smothered in butter and marmite that are a rare treat I adore!
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking is just a different sized lardy cake. It isn’t, it’s a completely different recipe. A lardy roll is a scone sized baked good. It has an almost doughy texture to it, much more moist than a roll or scone, closer to a crumpet but without the bitterness or rubberyness. Given the springy nature and the air pockets there’s a strong part of me that believes that it must use filo pastry. But I know very little about baking and could be completely wrong.
It used to be that you could get them from Bakers all over Surrey, but as they’ve closed down over the years, so stockists have dwindled. The only place you seem to be able to get them now is in a baker in Cranleigh, Surrey.
As well as a number of friends who remember them fondly, I’ve spent a lot of time researching the lardy roll as it seems that it is in danger of being lost. Whilst I believe the baker in Cranleigh has handed things onto his son and with it the recipe, they do seem slightly different. I can find very few references to it in history outside Surrey and West Sussex which has lead me to believe it was a local delicacy around the 1920s and 30s. All references to it, mark it as exceptional (“their lardy rolls were particularly good”).
Whilst I think if I had them too regularly, they’d lose their appeal I do worry that one day we’ll go to Cranleigh and the baker’s will be closed down. I don’t want to see him lose his revenue and will happily frequent and supply him with business for years to come, I just want to know that future generations will be able to sample the wonder of the lardy roll!