Sally Lunn bread has quite a history, making it’s way from the 1600s in Bath, England to The American South. Much like many other Southern foods, it even has it’s own song poem, printed in the Bath Chronicle on Oct. 13, 1796:
No more I heed the muffin’s zest
The yeast cake or the bun.
Sweet muse of pastry teach me how
To make a Sally Lunn.
It has been described as the Challah of the South, which is apt, due to it’s light sweetness and the addition of yeast and eggs. I will tell you one thing, it’s the stuff that songs are made of when warm out of the oven with softened butter. Pure poetry. This is a bread you want to lay down in, rest your weary head upon, feed to your young, while you lovingly cradle them.
It makes a hearty sandwich bread and a delectable french toast if you can wait a couple days for it’s texture to toughen up.
Good Luck with that.
The recipe I used which is from The Lee Bros Southern Cookbook is one of the simplest I have found and it’s results are delicious every time.
The specimen seen below looked a bit obscenely bulbous upon exiting the oven, but no matter. It was devoured before anyone could take offense.
THE LEE BROS SALLY LUNN BREAD
1 cup whole milk
1 pkg dry yeast
1/3 cup of honey
1 stick butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
4 cups sifted AP flour
Sift flour and add salt, set aside
Heat milk until it reaches 105 on a thermometer. Add yeast and a pinch of sugar. Wait ten minutes for bubbles to form.
Cream butter and add honey continue to beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Alternately add the flour and the milk to the butter/egg mixture and mix until it becomes a smooth dough. Cover it and let it rest for a half an hour. It should double in size.
Take it out and place on a clean counter and flatten and pound it out. Really give it hell for about a minute. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter up a loaf pan and wrap up your dough and fit it to the pan. Let rest for about 15 minutes, covered. It should have increased in size again. Lightly butter the top and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and crusty when you tap it.
Cool it in it’s pan for ten minutes.