The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe search - Sally Lunn bread.

ezschz's picture

Recipe search - Sally Lunn bread.

Hi -

I've been reading this site for years and finally joined.  Thanks to all for your wonderful baking advice and recipes! 

I'm looking for a recipe for Sally Lunn bread.  My Mom visited the Washington DC area 2o years ago and brought back a recipe for Sally Lunn bread from a restaurant in DC or in one of the Northern Virginia suburbs.  I think it was a signature recipe since the establishment printed a brochure with the recipe inside.   I lost the recipe during a move years ago but Mom still asks me to try to recreate the bread.  I've tried several recipes but none are quite right.  From what I remember the bread had a cakey texture; it included scalded milk and melted shortening; and had quite a bit of sugar.  It was also irresistible warm from the oven with salted butter.  Does any of this ring a bell?

Thanks in advance!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

James Beard's recipe is the only one I've ever baked, so I really can't compare.  I can say that I like the bread a lot.  I have not baked it in a couple of years, but as I recall, he has you bake it in a tube pan (think Angel Food Cake pan).  Your description sounds right on for how this one turns out.  The book is available really cheap on Amazon (here is a link), and there are several options, including new and used, hard back and paperback, and I think I even saw a Kindle edition.

Good luck and happy baking!

Maritxu's picture

I wanted to reply to ezschz, but I didn't see that option, so I hoped s/he might still be susbscribed to this thread.  I found a recipe for Sally Lunn buns rather recently that I think is just delicious and thought I'd share it with you in case it helped your search.

Rye's Sally Lunn rolls

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, plus rising times

Servings: Makes about 1½ dozen rolls

Note: Adapted from Rye in Louisville, Ky.

1 Yukon gold potato

1 1/4 cups (5 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons (1 ounce) sugar

1/4 cup plus 2½ tablespoons (½ stick plus 2½ tablespoons) butter, divided

1/2 cup plus 3½ tablespoons milk

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (6¼ ounces) bread flour

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, divided

1. Boil the potato in a medium pot until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the potato and mash. Measure one-half cup (2 2/3 ounces) mashed potato and set aside (save the rest for another use).

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, yeast and sugar. Set aside

3. In a small saucepan, melt one-fourth cup plus one-half tablespoon butter. In a blender, combine the melted butter, milk and mashed potato, and blend until smooth.

4. Add the potato mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes to give the yeast time to activate.

5. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment. Add the whole egg and one yolk, and mix until combined, then add the bread flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, scraping down the bowl as needed until the ingredients are combined to form the dough.

If mixing by hand, beat in the egg and 1 yolk using a hand mixer, then add the bread flour and 1 1/4  teaspoons salt, mixing by hand with a spoon or spatula until the ingredients are combined to form a dough.

6. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl, and lightly oil the top of the dough, then cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.

7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and portion the dough out into 18 balls, each weighing about 1 1/4 ounces.

8. Roll the portions into balls and place on a lightly oiled parchment-lined baking sheet (6 rows, 3 rolls each).

9. Very lightly brush the tops of the rolls with oil and gently cover with a layer of plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

10. When the rolls are almost ready, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

11. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over low heat just until melted. Place the butter in a small bowl and beat in the remaining egg yolk. Gently brush the tops of the risen rolls with the butter mixture, then sprinkle over the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.

12. Bake the rolls until golden brown and completely set, about 20 minutes.

dablues's picture
Frazestart's picture

(Note: the spam filter rejected my links, so I deleted the initial parts  to get them through. You need to add the

h--p://w--. to reconstitute them.)

Does this sound like the recipe you had? It's supposedly the one from historic Gadsby's Tavern in Old Town Alexandria (VA): .

I couldn't find the recipe on Gadsby's website but if you contact them directly, maybe they'll give it to you:

Good luck!

ezschz's picture

The link to cdkitchen is the right recipe.  I recognize the "short" and "plus" measures of shortening and milk. (I've pasted a couple of links to the recipe below.)  I actually think I ate at Gadsby's Tavern when I lived in DC a few years ago.  I'm a bit worried I didn't make the connection between the restaurant and the recipe.  Can you have senior moments in your 30s? 

Thanks again.  I can't wait to get  baking this weekend!