The Beauty of the Sally Lunn

The story is told that this delightful bread is named for a young woman who once sold her breads in Bath.

That young woman must have indeed made wonderful breads for one so lovely as this to be her namesake.

I prepared this recently, from a recipe from The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook, p 163, but numerous recipes can be found on the internet. It's quite simple and fills the house with the most pleasing smell, even while rising. What I particularly like about this bread, aside from how easy it is, is the quantity it produces and its freezability. This bread rises and bakes in a 10- to 12- cup bundt or tube pan and really fills it, so it produces quite a large amount of bread. When it was fresh from the oven, my fiance and I, of course, ate a few slices, some drizzled with honey (delightful!) and others plain. Then, I threw three slices in the food processor to be used as bread crumbs for the crab cakes I was preparing that evening.

Knowing we couldn't finish the entire bundt, I cut the remaining bread into 1/4 loaf sections, bagged them, and threw them in the freezer. This proved quite convenient when, a few days ago, my fiance impulsively decided to make macaroni & cheese, which required a bread crumb topping. I pulled one of the quarters out, defrosted it on the bread setting in our microwave and then processed half of it into crumbs. We ate the other half while we were cooking. Even after being frozen and defrosted in a microwave of all places, the Sally Lunn proved as light and sweet and fresh as it had the day I baked it!

This is a lovely little bread that takes only a few hours to prepare, most of which is rising time, and then, when quartered, can be stretched through four meals! I can't ask for more than that! x

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