As a girl I enjoyed reading all of the American Girl book series. It is hard to say which was my favorite, but looking back I think it was Felicity. Reading her book series brought the colonial era to life in my imagination. When I was around 10 years old my family visited colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, which definitely increased my enthusiasm for the 18th century.
Last week my mom returned my copy of Felicity's Cookbook. I had loaned the book to her a while back and forgotten all about it. It was fun to review the recipes and historical facts sprinkled throughout. When I saw the recipe for Sally Lunn bread I thought that it was a recipe I should try soon. I remember eating a turkey sandwich made with Sally Lunn bread when we visited Williamsburg. The bread was so delicious and unique.
My one setback was that the recipe suggested using a tube pan/angel food cake pan. At the time I did not have a tube pan and was not willing to purchase a new pan just to make this bread.
Much to my delight I found a tube pan over the weekend at our local thrift store! I noticed some writing and numbers on the bottom of the pan. Adam did a little on-line investigation and discovered the pan was made in the 1950's. I am convinced that vintage bake ware is often superior to new bake ware. I guess if has lasted over 50 years it must be well made. : )
The Sally Lunn bread was a big hit with Adam and Jemimah! It really was a lovely treat on a chilly, rainy spring afternoon. Especially when enjoyed buttered with red raspberry leaf tea. I found this fact from the Felicity's Cookbook interesting: Felicity made tea from raspberry leaves to protest the high tax on tea that came from England. Over the past few years I have read so many articles about the health benefits of red raspberry leaf tea, it really is a nice alternative to black caffeinated tea.
Sally Lunn Bread
3/4 cup milk
1/4 warm water
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1. Measure the milk into a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Turn off the heat.
2. Measure the warm water into a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir. Then stir the warm milk into the yeast and water.
3.Measure the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Stir them until they are creamy.
4. Crack 1 egg into the mixing bowl of butter/sugar and beat the mixture. Add the second egg and beat the mixture again.
5.Stir the flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
6. Stir about 1 cup of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Then stir in about 1/3 of the yeast mixture.
7. Add more flour and beat the mixture. Then add more yeast and beat the mixture again. Continue adding yeast and flour in this way, beating the batter unitl it is smooth.
8. Cover the large mixing bowl with a clean towel and let the batter rise in a warm place for 1 hour. When the batter has doubled in size, remove the towel. Stir the batter quickly to take out the air.
9.Use paper towels to grease the tube pan with shortening or butter.
10. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Cover it with the towel. Let it rise for about 30 minutes, or until it has doubled again in size. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while the batter rises.
11. Remove the towel and bake the bread on the center oven rack 40-45 minutes.
12. Remove bread from the oven. Use a butter knife to loosen the bread from the sides of the pan. Turn the pan upside down to remove the bread.
If you try this recipe I hope you will enjoy it as much a we did! It is a light, moist, delicate, bread.