Sally Lunn Bread was traditionally served in colonial America. This loaf was served as tea bread and was named after an 18th century woman named Sally Lunn. She sold the coffee cake like bread in her tea shop located in Bath, England. This is a wonderful bread for snacking. It freezes well as dough and baked. Use your imagination... add fruit, nuts, or spices to the dough before baking for a different taste.
Cooking Time: 25 - 30 minutes approximately
1/3 cup warm evaporated milk not hot
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
3/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
Pre heat oven to 350 F
In a small bowl, combine evaporated milk, sugar, and yeast. Let rest for 5 min. or until yeast is bubbly.
Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and form a ball. You may have to add more flour or water a little at a time. Dough should be soft but firm enough to knead.
Turn out the dough to a lightly greased surface. Lightly oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 min., or until it begins to become smooth and supple.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise between 1 to 2 hours. Dough should be close to double in size. I place bread dough on top of my stove where it will stay warm. This decreases the proofing time.
Punch down the dough and shape it into an 8" log. Place the dough into a lightly oiled 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan; cover the pan loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Leave the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours more. It will be ready to bake when it is about 1" above the rim of the pan.
Place the pan into the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The Sally Lunn Bread will sound hollow when tapped when it is ready.
Remove the loaf of Sally Lunn Bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack or clean dry cloth. If you would like a softer crust rub the top of the loaf with butter while still hot.
Let cool completely before slicing.
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