Friday, May 30, 2014

Who are you Sally Lunn?

My Goal:

Make the Sally Lunn (again) and take pictures before eating it!

Umm...I ate some too and it was just as I remembered - simple and comforting. I feel a mix of pleasure and incredulity that something can have such simple ingredients (with only a 1/4 cup of sugar for any real flavour) and make something I want to make again and again.

Perhaps it's too plain for our modern times, but I can imagine a housewife in the 1940's being quite pleased with the outcome, and proud to place it on her table. I know I would be tickled to be invited over for tea and have this little cake-bread offered up to me.  And if she chose to accompany the cake-bread with a bit of honey or jam, I would be her new best friend.

I'm not sure, but I think this would be the type of recipe that would appeal to frugal food rationed housewives.

The ingredients are simple:  Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk, shortening, and an egg.

I measured everything out and realized I was a tiny bit shy on shortening, but I didn't think it would matter that much. On cooking shows, they never scrape everything clean, and they always say it tastes amazing! A missing teaspoon or so of shortening to make a 1/2 cup shouldn't matter - and my taste buds agreed once the finish product hit my hips ;)

Add the beaten egg to the milk and give it another stir for good measure.

The recipe calls for sifting the flour with the baking powder and salt, but I'm kind of lazy that way. I measured by spooning the flour into the cup and then leveling it off with the back of a knife. Then just added the baking powder and salt and stirred it in fairly well.

Blend the shortening and the sugar together. I could of used my KitchenAid, but that just seemed like overkill, it only took a minute to blend everything together using a spatula.

Alternate adding the flour mixture to the shortening with the milk/egg mixture.

At first it seemed like there was too much milk, but as I mooshed it...that's my technical cooking talk for pushing down on the flour with the back of the spatula... it came together. 

The end result was a thick pancake like batter.  Like gummy mashed potatoes.

Since most of my kitchen is packed up - my choices for baking dishes are severely limited. My ONLY choice was the angel food cake tin. The recipe says a loaf pan or a muffin tin.

I greased up the lucky winner with a bit of butter and dropped the batter in by the heaping spoonful.

I didn't bother with smoothing it down. Just make sure it's the same thickness around so it will bake evenly.
375 F and 30 minutes later. Yay!

At this point it's really important to let it cool before removing from the pan or trying to eat it.

On the first cake, I tried to cut in to it when it first came out of the oven and it was a fully-baked crumbly mess that I had to use a spoon to eat. *blush* I was a bit worried about the texture, but the more it cooled, the more it stuck together.  So, I left this baby alone to cool in the pan.

When it was finally cool enough that I could handle the cake without burning my hands, I tipped it out onto the rack.

I really like the rustic simple look.

Goal: Accomplished!

Sally Lunn Recipe
American Woman's Cook Book 1948 (pg 120)

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. 
  2. Combine egg and milk.
  3. Cream shortening and sugar.
  4. Add flour alternatively with egg/milk mixture
  5. Place in greased loaf pan or muffin pans and bake in a moderate oven (375 F) - 30 minutes

Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sally Lunn Cake Bread fondly remembered

I was hungry, I was bored, and I wanted to bake something easy! And truth be told, I really wanted to try something from one of my cookbooks.

Since I'm moving, most of my kitchen is packed and sitting in storage, not to mention I'm literally eating myself out of house and home! So, what to make? Tea biscuits, perhaps, although I'm down to only cake flour now and debating on purchasing more all-purpose flour...maybe just a small bag!...before I move.

Currently my 'pantry' is the lower shelf of a table in my living room. It was my entry table, near my front door, but I needed the room for moving things out. Alas, the shelves I had for baking supplies are resting inside a storage crate 2 km away.

psSSssst Aren't juice box type wine containers the best! (left of middle in the picture) Sorry, I don't like wine, so this makes an excellent option for needing wine for cooking but not wanting to waste an entire bottle. I've seen smaller 1 cup sizes before too!

Ummm... Did I mention I was hungry?...I chose a Sally Lunn recipe. It's described as not a cake and not bread.. hrmmm. So, I quickly baked a 'not a cake' and then promptly ate most of it before thinking about taking any pictures! *sigh*  My tummy and taste buds were happy campers, though.

I did figure a way to rectify the situation and alleviate the guilt. I will make not one, but two Sally Lunn cake things! One from from the American Woman's cook book...this was the one that caused my shame...and another from the 1938 Five Roses Flour Cook book. The Five Roses one has differing amounts of flour and things and they call it English Sally Lunn, instead of just plain old Sally Lunn, but I'm sure it will be just as good perhaps just a bit different in texture.

I'll have to do a bit of googling on Sally to see who she is and why she has cake bread named after her.