This recipe is part of a new series here on Brooklyn Farmhouse that showcases ye olde recipes from antique cookbooks. When I graduated culinary school, my husband bought me a boatload of antique cookbooks to add to my budding collection. The books range widely in age – from the turn of the (last) century to the mid-1950s. Many of the recipes are interesting because they’re a bit unusual and uncommon, and I wanted to share some of them with you – with a couple of little tweaks, of course.
This recipe for Sally Lunn (yes, that’s the name of the recipe!) is from the Francis Parkinson Keyes Cookbook, dated 1955. Who was Francis Parkinson Keyes? Well, apparently she was a novelist and a senator’s wife and had political leanings that left a little something to be desired – which is why her novels haven’t really stood the test of time. Aside from this, her cookbook has some odd little gems and so I’m going to stick with her recipes and not so much her politics or her novels.
Sally Lunn is a sort of white bread, sort of brioche-y, sort of savory, and sort of sweet. It apparently dates from the 1680s. It’s a bit of an oddity, really. Hard to classify. But so delicious. It’s a really easy yeast bread to make and only requires one rise, right in the pan. I used a 12-cup Bundt pan, but you could use a tube pan or even two loaf pans. I also used cardamom sugar to top the cake-bread-brioche, but feel free to use regular sugar (or vanilla sugar would be nice, too).
One 1/4-ounce (7 gram) package instant yeast
2 cups whole milk, heated to almost boiling, then cooled to lukewarm (about 110ºF)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cardamom sugar (or regular sugar)
Special Equipment: 12-cup Bundt pan (or tube pan of equivalent size)
- Spray the Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the butter, flour, eggs, and salt, and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into the greased Bundt pan and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft free place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the batter has doubled in bulk.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- Sprinkle the Sally Lunn with the sugar and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes, give a the pan a good rap on the counter, and invert onto a cooling wrack.
- Serve warm with jam, honey, cheese, or any number of delicious savory or sweet accompaniments.