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  • Writer's picturemealswiththets

Sally Lunn Bread


I have been diligently studying the cookbooks that I recently acquired and transforming the tempting photos into delectable treats. One particular recipe that caught my eye was the Sally Lunn bread. Curious to find out who the bread was named after, I set out on a Google search into the origins of the bread. As it turns out, its history is a bit elusive as there are several stories and is inconclusive. Nonetheless, one thing is certain. It has been around for a very long time (since the 16th century) and is even mentioned in Charles Dickens' novel! There is also a famous bakery in Bath which claims to be the original house of Sally Lunn, whom the bread is named after.


To be honest, I have never tasted a Sally Lunn bread before. However, the ingredients are similar to what goes into a broiche in ratios which mix up into a cake batter consistency. The bread is leavened through the addition of yeast rather than the usual rising agents (e.g. bicarbonate of soda or baking powder) commonly used in cakes, thus giving it its bread-like character. Honey, milk, butter and egg are also added for flavor and richness. After analyzing the ratio of ingredients in the recipe, I decided to make a few modifications for a half recipe. Firstly, I reduced the amount of honey as I do not like overly sweet breads. Next, I added 2 eggs rather than 1.5 eggs as required for half the recipe (I don't think half of an egg would make a massive difference...?). Finally, I used fresh yeast as I prefer it over dried yeast. The recipe is pretty straightforward and requires only a good mix of all the ingredients until a cake batter consistency is obtained (see photo on the bottom right). The batter is left to rise until almost double in size and then transferred into a greased cake tin for a second rise prior to baking. If you prefer individual small buns, a greased muffin tray can be used instead. Note that the time taken for the bread to rise will be longer as the recipe contains milk, butter and eggs. The bread is baked until done (when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean), and is brushed with extra milk and butter before being returned to the oven for an extra 5 minutes. A mixture of milk and sugar in the same amounts can also be used as an alternative if you prefer a glossier and/or sweeter top.

The bread baked up beautifully and the aroma of fresh bread filled our house as it baked and even for hours later! The Sally Lunn bread tasted like a broiche, albeit less heavy and with a distinct honey flavor. It was delicious on its own or with butter.


Ingredients

  • 10 g of fresh yeast or 3.5 g of dried yeast

  • 32 g of water

  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (I used raw sugar)

  • 2 eggs (I used 70 g eggs)

  • 64 g of butter, softened

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)

  • 96 g of full cream milk

  • 2 generous teaspoons of honey

  • 300 g of all-purpose flour

  • Extra 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of milk for wash


Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 ℃.

  • Grease either a round tin (I used a 9 inch tin) or muffin tray.

  • Mix all ingredients together. A cake-like batter is normal.

  • Allow batter to rise till nearly double in size.

  • Scoop the batter into the prepared tin or muffin tray.

  • Bake until the bread shrinks away from the sides or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

  • Remove from the oven and brush with the extra butter/milk before returning to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the glaze browns.

  • Turn out onto a cooling rack and let it cool for about 15 min before slicing and serving.




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