Sally Lunn Bread
I first tasted Sally Lunn bread when I visited Colonial Williamsburg in 1976 and I’ve enjoyed
it numerous times since then. It can be purchased at the Raleigh Tavern Bake Shop on Duke
Sally Lunn bread was often times the bread of choice in Colonial times. It is an egg-rich, yeast-risen bread that has a varied history.
Our British cousins claim that this spongy bread originated in 1780. The Sally Lunn Eating House
|Sally Lunn Eating House|
To find out more about this charming tea-house see: http://www.sallylunns.co.uk/
That may be the British assertion; however, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.
The American version of a Sally Lunn recipe seems to predate it by virtue of a circa 1770 recipe penned by the granddaughter of Virginia’s Governor Spotswood.
Many years ago, I purchased the Williamsburg Cookbook which has many of the popular recipes of Colonial Williamsburg served in their taverns including a great one for Sally Lunn Bread. I use a Bundt pan.
Sally Lunn Bread
1 c. milk
½ c. vegetable shortening
4 c. flour, divided
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 packages active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp. each package)
3 large eggs
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, shortening and ¼ c. water. Warm over medium-low heat until a thermometer reads 120 degrees F. (The shortening does not need to melt)
In a large bowl, blend 1 1/3 c. flour with the sugar, salt and yeast. Blend the warm liquids into the flour mixture.
Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour and eggs. Mix well. The batter will be thick but not stiff.
Cover and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 75 minutes.
Grease a 10" tube pan, bundt pan. Beat the dough down with a spatula or an electric mixer on low speed. Turn into prepared pan, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Bake bread for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Run a knife around the center and outer edges of the bread. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Sally Lunn is best served warm with butter, preserves, or clotted cream. I have also use it to make French toast with lots of cinnamon, my homage to the French Huguenot refugee.