Monday, February 17, 2014

My version of Sally Lunn Buns

Sally Lunn is said to be a French Huguenot refugee, who fled France during the revolution to the town of Bath, England.  There are many stories surrounding Sally Lunn, but one thing I can tell you for certain, her little brioche-like buns are delicious!
(photo borrowed from the internet) 
My hubby and I traveled to Bath, England in 1993 for our 25th anniversary and thanks to our oldest daughter, Erin, who had spent time there during her junior year of college and planned our trip, had a wonderful time.  I was drawn to this building, not only for its history, but the intoxicating aroma of buns baking.  We had lunch there one day and one day we just bought buns to take with us on a hike.  The building was acquired in the 1930s by Marie Byng-Johnson and she opened it as a tea-room specializing in Sally Lunn buns promoting the recipe she is said to have found in a secret cupboard.

Sally Lunn Buns
4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tsp.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk 
4 large eggs
1 pkg (or 1 T) active dry yeast
1/4 cup very warm water (about 110F-degrees)

extra melted butter to brush the pans and tops (about 4 Tablespoons)

[You will be happy to know that I made these by hand] In a large bowl, measure the flour and salt, set aside.  In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar.  In a small pan, melt the butter with the milk.
In a 1 cup glass measure, whisk the active dry yeast and 2 tsp. sugar together--allow to set about 7-10 minutes to proof.


Add the egg/sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and with a rubber spatula, start to combine.  Next, add the proofed yeast, then, the melted butter/milk.  Continue to mix with the spatula until thoroughly combined.  The dough will seem sticky, but not to worry.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour for ease in handling.

Remove bowl from refrigerator and you should be able to lightly knead the dough; I did this right in the bowl it was made in.
Now, cover the bowl again with more plastic wrap, but this time, make sure you lightly spray it with a non-stick vegetable spray.
I had a wonderful birthday present last year from my daughter--a proofing box!

If you don't have one, I would highly recommend it for all you serious bread bakers.  Otherwise, find a warm place in your kitchen to allow this dough to rise--about 1 1/2 hours.

When the dough has doubled, transfer it to a lightly-floured bread board and divide into 6 pieces.
Place one of these in the palm of your hand and while pressing on the bread board, roll into a smooth ball.
I found these "small" cake pans in the grocery store (they're made by Wilton and were only 3/$5.99).
With the extra melted butter, brush the pans well and place a dough ball in each. Brush the tops of the balls with more melted butter and cover with plastic wrap to rise once more until doubled (about 40 mins-1 hour).

 Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  When the buns have doubled in size, place in the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Brush the tops once more with butter (heck, can you really have too much butter:-D) then, remove the buns from the pans and allow to cool slightly.
These "cake-like" buns brought back such memories of a warm, Fall day in Bath; life is good, Enjoy!
 

30 comments:

  1. Oh I do enjoy Sally Lunn bread and these little rolls would be terrific. A proofing box? Will wonders never cease? I think that I could use one here in the winter because it takes bread forever to rise around this place.

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    Replies
    1. It's great, Vee--folds up for easy storage, but even here in the south during winter, dough takes longer to rise. These buns are a great treat!

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  2. I was a serious bread baker for many years...while my kids were growing up. I bake a lot less now but this recipe looks so good. I bake cinnamon rolls for my hubby pretty often and the recipe is very close...a nice rich dough! Enjoy your day my friend! (ps I preheat my oven for just a few minutes until it is warm to put my dough inside to rise...just warm enough not too hot to kill the yeast!)

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    Replies
    1. Great tip on heating the oven for a warm environment for the dough!

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  3. They look so delicious. I have had little success making any kind of breads. Don't know what I am doing wrong, but I just don't seem to have the knack for bread baking.

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    Replies
    1. Don't let the yeast intimidate you!

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  4. YUMMY...Thanks for sharing...and I ed something new...enjoy your day hugs lil raggedy Angie

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  5. wow those brioche buns have turned out perfect! Love how golden brown and beautiful they look.
    Have a wonderful day, Susan!
    Angie

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  6. I very much like your version on the buns! They look perfect! :) ela

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  7. I am a bread lover and eater, but not a baker. These sound so good, not sure I've ever had one, so I need to try them sometime! YUMMY!

    Big Hugs,
    Linda

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  8. Love the story of Sally Lunn, the tea room, and the recipe. I have the same small round cake pans....now I know what to make in them...laughing!!

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    Replies
    1. When I bought them, I was thinking "little cakes" but they are perfect for buns;-)

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  9. Oh my goodness....these Sally Lunn's are beautiful! You are such a magnificent baker! Wonderful, wonderful post, Susan!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you...that's just how I feel about you!

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  10. Luckily my oven has a bread proofing mode...our range of weather can play havoc with proofing but the oven mode takes care of that.
    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. I use to have that feature...in this rental, I don't!

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  11. Just looking at those beautiful buns is stirring my carbohydrate addiction, they look wonderful and I must give these a go.

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    Replies
    1. They have just enough sweetness to make them perfect for tea--jam or lemon curd would be a delightful accompaniment!

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  12. Mmmmmm! Susan I could go for one of them now with my cup of tea!
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  13. Yeah, I love bread! These buns would be great for breakfast with even more butter and jam...Love those little cute cake pans. I've been looking for something similar but all in one piece, like a muffin pan. Hope you're enjoying these with some tea right about now. Lv, me

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  14. These look so good!
    Never knew there was such a thing as a proofing box! What a thoughtful gift you received! Perfect for all the brad making you do!

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  15. Hi, Susan,
    I've been a little out of the box with my husband's health issues, but home now and settling in--enjoying catching up on your blog. My daughter and I had Sally Lunn buns at that very shop in Bath in 2007--she was about to start a summer internship in London so we flew over a little early to jointly celebrate our respective 60th and 25th birthdays. I'll have to bake your buns for her! Thanks.
    Petti

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  16. I can smell these now! I have never heard of a proofing box. But I never make bread only cinnamon rolls occasionally.
    I am catching up with your blog as I've had some health issues. I am sure I will salivating on each previous post :)
    Hugs,
    Donna

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  17. I LOVE Bath. I was last there in 2007 where, yes, I visited that very same restaurant and tried a bun! :)

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