Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mrs. M. E. Hite's Sally Lunn

Sally Lunn has been around, well, forever? I have always seen this recipe constantly repeated in almost anything referencing period cookery (18th & 19th Century) and yet I have never tried it! It seems Sally Lunn may or may not have been a real person- a few legends of her namesake are around, and you can even visit her Bakery in Bath!
A few months ago I was "gifted" with Hearthside Cooking by Nancy Carter Crump, I have soaked in her knowledge! I highly recommend this book. She gives an overview of tools & techniques, followed by a slew of period recipes & hints! Inlcuded in the book is Mrs. M. E. Hite's Sally Lunn- which is actually Eliza Leslie's recipe from Directions for Cookery, in Its Various Branches, 1844.

Luckily, Crump already did all of the hard work for and 'converted' the recipe to a modern measurement. Crump says to bake the bread/cake in a tube pan, though Leslie says a square tin pan. I went with the tube thinking this would be more of a cake batter....nope. Very much a dough, after rising for 2 hours,  it was hard to form in the tube pan, next time I will use a regular bread pan for it. I completely forgot to get any photos of the mixing process. But did manage to get an after shot out of the oven.
Fresh Sally Lunn

Mine does look a bit uneven- but I did say it was hard to get around in that tube pan!! Maybe next time will result in a prettier bread. This was excellent served fresh out of the oven with some butter- just as Eliza Leslie suggests. DH was even a fan! It was not a "cake" as some recipes suggest- or at least not a cake for our 21st Century tastes. It is not sweet, since there is no sugar, but a savory, buttery bread!
While this will not replace my ever-popular & loved white bread at events, I think it will make an appearance on the menu occasionally.

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