I heard so much about this bread, but never had the opportunity to bake it. I needed a bread recipe that was quite simple for my brunch gathering. Just as a side note: my friends and families will laugh because my definition of simple doesn’t mean going to a bakery and buying the bread. I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and decided this is it!!
The origin of Sally Lunn is a bit conflicting. I guess the most accepted origin (based on wikipedia) is that the bread “originated in Bath with the arrival in 1680 of a Huguenot immigrant called Solange (Sollie) Luyon”
I also baked a really yummy zucchini bread (next to the Sally Lunn bread), but that recipe will have to wait”
Note: Smitten Kitchen adapted this recipe from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
This recipe makes 1 9×5×3-inch loaf of bread. For a more traditional shape, you can double the recipe and bake it in a 9-inch (10 cup) tube pan. My changes to Heatter’s recipe were halve the recipe, further reduce the sugar, halve again the yeast (yes, halve, there was a lot!), swap out some water for additional milk and to streamline the directions to hopefully keep them as simple as possible.
2 cups (250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams or 7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
1 1/8 teaspoon (1/2 packet or 1/8 ounce) active dry yeast
3/4 cup (177 ml) milk
4 tablespoons (57 grams or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast by hand or with an electric mixer.
In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the mixture is warm (105 to 110 degrees); don’t worry if this butter isn’t completely melted. Gradually pour the warm ingredients into the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or stir vigorously by hand with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and another 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes by machine or 3 by hand. Add the last of the flour and beat or stir until smooth.
Scrape down bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or until doubled. Meanwhile, butter and flour a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan. Once the dough has doubled, scrape it into the prepared pan. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and let rise for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, however, remove the plastic and preheat your oven to 375°F.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Heatter says the bread should make a hollow sound if tapped with your fingertips but I haven’t weathered mine enough yet that I didn’t find it unpleasant.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to a rack to cool.
Just to note, Heatter suggests that the bread be cooled out of the loaf pan but upside down on the rack, I presume to square off the loaf, so this is an option for more perfectly square bread.
My opinion: I served the bread warm with some European butter. This is the type of bread that reminds you of “home”. As my children grow up and every time they smell fresh breads baking somewhere I want them to be reminded of their home.
Don’t panic when you see the dough really sticky. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’ll be baking this again soon!!