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26 September 2019

Sally Lunn Buns - Jane Austen Comfort Food

Sally Lunn Buns - Jane Austen Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com

When I'm not cooking, eating or writing about food, I like to read. There's nothing so delightful to me as a rainy day at home, with tea and buns (or scones or crumpets), a cuddly cat and a good book (preferably English). 


Sally Lunn Buns - Jane Austen Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com
I'm adding this little watercolor of my cat to the post
at the request of one of my readers. He does enjoy a 
long reading session, or the occasional film, but 
he objects strenuously to music of any kind at all!

There are good books I've only read once, but some books are meant to be enjoyed again and again. Has anyone ever read a Jane Austen novel just once? A day spent in Jane Austen's world can be a marvelous restorative.

Avid afternoon tea aficionado that I am, it was quite a shock to me years ago when I realized that afternoon tea was not part of Jane Austen’s life. But tea drinking, popular at Court since the 1660’s, had by the Regency Period long since trickled down through all strata of society. 

Jane and her family no doubt enjoyed a nice cup of tea at least twice a day, at breakfast and in the evening after dinner, and surely at other times as well. There are a number of things Jane might have had with her tea, including hot, buttered Sally Lunn buns, good with both sweet and savory toppings.



Sally Lunn Buns - Jane Austen Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com


At Sally Lunn's in Bath, when you order a bun, it is a half, either top or bottom, of a split bun, toasted, and topped with something savory, such as beef or vegetables, or something sweet, such as lemon curd or cinnamon butter.  

Those made today in Bath are very large, perhaps five or six inches across and three or more inches high. My own, which I’m sure Sally Lunn’s in Bath would scorn as an inadequate imitation, are much smaller, about three inches in diameter, more "teatime" size.

Basically a brioche, they are good with either sweet or savory accompaniments. My method is so simple--no need for great skill or strength (no kneading) and no need for any special equipment (no food processor or heavy-duty stand mixer). Give them a try and let me know what you think.

And head on over to London Calling and see what expert Janeite Tony thinks of the new television production of Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon. 


Sally Lunn Buns - Jane Austen Comfort Food / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Sally Lunn Buns


(Makes 18 )

4 dip-and-sweep cups (20 ounces/567 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package/0.25 ounces/7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
4 large eggs (medium, in the UK)
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk

1 In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In small saucepan, melt butter; set aside to cool a bit before needed.

2 In 2.5- to 3-quart mixing bowl, with electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until fluffy and pale lemon yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. By hand with a dough whisk or wooden spoon, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the melted butter and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to three days.

Note: At this point, you can divide the dough if you'd like to bake 9 buns one day and 9 another day. Store in 2 lidded glass containers. If baking all 18, you'll need 2 baking sheets and need to rotate the sheets in the oven halfway through the baking time.  

3 About 2 1/2 hours before serving time, remove dough from refrigerator. Divide the dough into 18 pieces.* Roll each into a smooth ball, place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten gently into a 2 1/2-inch disk. If your baking sheet does not have a lid, lightly butter a sheet of parchment or plastic wrap and place, buttered side down, over the buns. Let rise until very puffy and nearly doubled in volume, about 1 3/4 hours. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. 

* I'm pretty persnickety about making them equal, so I weigh the dough and divide by 18. It weighed 1170 grams, so divide that by 18, and you get 65 grams (about 2 1/4 ounces) per bun.

4 Uncover buns. Bake about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer buns to wire racks. Serve warm, or cool completely before storing. To serve later in the traditional manner, split the buns and toast them under the grill (broiler) or in a toaster oven. Toasting them in a regular toaster gets them a bit too dark on the uncut side if you're not careful, and it's hard to get them out of the slots!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

64 comments:

  1. They remind me of my favourite soft dinner buns :-)) A wonderful recipe, Jean.

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  2. Angie, thank you. And, yes, I use them as dinner rolls as well.

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  3. One reason I want to return to Bath (there are many) is that I was RIGHT BY Sally Lunn's and it was the wrong time to go inside and have a bun or anything! Too early. But now I can have that feeling at home, thanks to you. I'm going to have to give these a try. They look delicious and easy, too!

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  4. I wish I knew how to pin anymore... 🙃

    This page has been saved to my recipe file, though, because sometimes I need to bake some bread and these sound easy and good.

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  5. Jeanie, really (said with a huff or a puff)? Too early for a bun? It's never too early for a bun! :D But, yes, now you can have that feeling at home. I'm all about creating an atmosphere at home with my food.

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  6. Vee, the Pin button is at the very bottom of the post. If I can do it, believe me, you can do it--'cause all that tech, social media stuff is a huge mystery to me! :D Yes, these are so easy. Even when I'm really drooping--just mix up the dough one day, then shape the buns and bake them another day.

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  7. I believe I made a large Sally Lunn bread when I was first married, but I like the idea of your small, tea size ones much better, Jean. These would be perfect for me! Thank you!

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  8. Thanks, Kitty. I eat way too much bread when there's a big loaf. But you can just freeze rolls and pull out and heat up as many as you want.

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  9. Lunn Bun fun doesn’t sound nearly as good as the Lean Jean scene. Being a bread minimalist, I’d definitely go with the thin version, toasted more in the manner of an English muffin to open up those craters and allow melted butter in, capped by…mmmh, let’s say, blackberry jam.

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  10. Thank you, I will try them. Perfect size too! Yes, the ones in Bath are huge, and so yummy!!

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  11. Well this was timely. Our son and daughter in law were at Sally Lunn's eatery yesterday in Bath. I'll copy your link and share it with them when they come home.

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  12. Sully, sounds good to me. I'm all about quality over quantity, so I enjoy a small amount of something really good (like a really "worthy" bread) rather than heaps of chemical-filled store-bought bread. Glad you spotted the blackberry jam (could you tell it's organic?!).

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  13. Frances, thank you. Hope you'll try them soon and let me know how they compare!

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  14. Ellen, how fun is that! Wow, that is quite the coincidence! Hope they're having a grand time.

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  15. Thank you, Maristella! Baking more in just a little while.

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  16. Hi Jean. I have been Off line, to a certain extent,for the last few days. Marilyn and I have been having a break. on the Isle of Wight. Yes, Jane Austen did visit the IOW when she lived in Southampton. We have visited Alfred Lord Tennyson’s home overlooking the English Channel. “Come into the garden Maud...” I wonder what he meant by that? H! Ha! Not far from Acton Down where the first Isle of Wight Festival took place. “Sally Lunns buns,” are great. I empathise with one of your commentators. Sally Lunns is not an easy establishment to get into. It’s very popular. I am sure your version of her buns are very nice. I can’t carry on keeping a straight face.” Buns” are a reference to.,. well I sure it must be the same in the States!! Ha! Ha!

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  17. Having had the pleasure of enjoying and buying a Sally Lunn bun in Bath, I must admit they are way too large. Thank you for a smaller version to enjoy at home. Though I'm not eating many carbs lately, these would be a lovely exception.

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  18. Tony, so glad you and Marilyn are enjoying the IOW! And, yes, do TRY to keep a straight face--buns are "buns" the world over, I fear! :D

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  19. Thank you, Martha! Yes, even when watching one's carbs, one of these is well worth using your "allowance" on! :-)

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  20. Sully, "a pure guess"--I might have known! :D

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  21. These sound easy and delicious.I love a good bun!

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  22. I don't think I've read Jane Austen's books but reading with a cup of tea and kitties is delightful indeed! Your buns look delicious :-)

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  23. Lorrie, thanks. My dad didn't consider it a meal if there wasn't some sort of bread or rolls on the table.

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  24. Thanks, Tamago. Yes, tea and cats make everything better! :D

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  25. I’m wishing I had one to go with my cocoa this morning! Slathered with butter, it would be the perfect accompaniment!

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  26. Yes, David, I can tell you from experience, a toasted Sally Lunn Bun goes beautifully with a cup of cocoa!

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  27. I was going to say you had me at "Jane Austen" but in truth, you probably had me at "buns"! What a lovely introduction, to think of her enjoying these. Yes, I've read some of her books more than once, most recently when I decided to read them in the order she wrote them. I have to say I enjoyed one or two far more than the rest. Such a comfort to know that even amazing writers don't appeal to every reader, every time.
    PS: I think I'd like lemon curd on mine this morning please!

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  28. Oh heavens. These look so good! I used to make Sally Lunn bread fairly often (our recipes are similar), but I never made them into buns. That must change!

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  29. Thanks, Pauline. Yes, lemon curd sounds good to me today as well. I'm baking a half batch of these this afternoon, and I think I'll whip up some lemon curd to go with them.

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  30. Cheryl, yes, that must change! Rolls are so much more manageable--you don't have to eat them all right away, but can freeze them and bring them out a few at a time. There's more likely to be waste with a big loaf.

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  31. Yum, Jean! Just right! Surely quicker than the croissants (which were divine) so I'm so going to try them. My only complaint is I was hoping for a delightful Jean watercolor of a cat here. How perfect a blog to include a cat curled up with a good book! I'm waiting....

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  32. Frances, how funny! Yeah, I'm afraid I'm pretty persnickety about a lot of things! :D

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  33. Sue, I hadn't thought of that! Guess I could pop in a cat somewhere! Yes, these are much quicker than croissants--I made another batch of dough the other day and just two minutes ago finished shaping the half batch I didn't bake that day.

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  34. I want to live in Jane Austen’s world! And no, I have not ever read a Jane Austen novel just once. I have read all of them many, many times over and will continue to do so forever. Now I guess I need to start eating these lovely English snacks during my reading time.

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  35. Shelbee, ME TOO! We really can live in whatever world we want to--in our homes (through foods, etc) AND in our heads! :-) Thanks for stopping in!

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  36. Oh my, your Sally Lunn buns look wonderful, Jean! I've never made those buns but I used to make bread, cinnamon braids, and rolls quite often when my children were small. I got away from bread making when my life got busier. Alas, I don't have the wrists I use to have so that limits any kind of bread making now. I would love to try one of yours though. l giggled when you said persnickety because I'm rather that way myself. I think a baker/cook at heart is probably that way more than most. We like things done in a certain manner and it mustn't be toyed with or it upsets the "zone." My children have always teased me about being "in the zone" when I'm in the kitchen or busy doing something else that takes my attention. ;-) Have a lovely weekend and thank you for your visit!

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  37. PS~ I meant to comment on your watercolour. Love the kitty with such lovely green eyes!

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  38. Thank you, Sandi. He's a sweet and rather "serious" cat, and I really thought I captured that, at least! I'm not surprised that you're persnickety, too! Love that--"in the zone"--don't bother us when we're in the zone!

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  39. I must try these! They look great. #SeniSal

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  40. Nice looking buns that would be lovely as a dinner bun...There is nothing like homemade buns #sensai

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  41. I've visited the Sally Lunn "Eating House" in Bath on a few occasions, Jean, and your Sally Lunn Buns look very similar to theirs. I prefer the size of yours though! They look wonderful! My favourite way to order Sally Lunn Buns is with cinnamon butter, but my son tried a savory meaty topping on our last visit and said it was delicious too. Thank you so much for sharing your Sally Lunn Buns with the Hearth and Soul Link Party.

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  42. Your Sally Lunn Buns look scrumptious! And your kitty is very silly not to enjoy music :)

    Thank you for sharing this on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!

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  43. Darlene, thanks. I hope you'll try them soon.

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  44. Thanks, Carol. For my dad, it wasn't dinner without bread on the table!

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  45. April, thanks so much. I'd love to pay a visit to Sally Lunn's and compare! I know mine are not overly sweet and go equally well with savoury toppings as well as sweet. Love #HearthAndSoul!

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  46. Lisa, thank you. And thanks for giving me my first laugh of the day--he is indeed "silly not to enjoy music!"

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  47. There is something so satisfying sitting in an easy chair with a cup a tea and a treat like you're bun while reading a good book. I just read a book you might like. The title is Amy Snow and the author is Tracy Rees.

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  48. Gerlinde, thank you so much. I always enjoy getting book recommendations; I'll check that out!

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  49. I love the narrative you shared with your recipe, Jean. Sitting with a good book and a warm cup of tea (or coffee) sounds delightful today. It's suddenly turned cool here.

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  50. Thank you, Christie. Nice to hear that from such a fine writer as you!

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  51. The buns look and sound tasty and you're really good at your water coloring, so talented!! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 5. Shared.

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  52. These look great -- really nice recipe. And I love Austen -- one of my favorite authors. Have you read Anthony Trollope? Well worth your time, if you haven't. :-)

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  53. John, thank you. And, yes, I've read Trollope, but not in decades. Thanks for reminding me!

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  54. These are lovely and who wouldn't love tea and a bun (whatever the size). Apparently Jane Austen ate Bath Buns but back then they might have been closer to a Sally Lunn than the Bath Buns of today. I have eaten Sally Lunn buns in Bath but when I tried to buy a Bath Bun in Bath I couldn't find one. Having two famous bakery products in one town is impressive but they also have the Bath Oliver and that's just showing off in my opinion.

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  55. Thanks, Phil. And three famous bakery products in one little town? That IS just showing off! I had not heard of Bath Olivers, so had to look them up--I know I would like those very much. I'm so glad you told me; I might never have known.

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  56. A good book, a cup of tea, and something sweet to eat... Sounds perfect to me, especially if you add in a furry companion.

    (I came over from Esme's linkup thingy).

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  57. Thanks so much, Victoria. You'll find lots of recipes here that fill that bill, but you'll have to supply your own furry companion! :-)

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  58. It's OK. I've got the furry companion thing covered. I have two dogs, a chinchilla, and a degu, and one of the dogs especially loves to curl up with me. ;)

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  59. Victoria, that's wonderful. And I just learned a new animal! Had to look up 'degu,' and it was adorable, I must say!

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