Before no knead bread-mania hit the internets there was Sally Lunn, a sticky batter bread with origins in Bath, England. Sally is rich and buttery, and requires only 3 hours’ rest on the countertop, compared with no-knead’s 18-24. She’s fast and easy.
It’s a sticky, shaggy dough; not a batter in the quickbread sense, but gooey enough that you couldn’t knead it if you tried. (Don’t go adding more flour – it’s supposed to look like this.)
I decided on this maiden voyage to add cinnamon, candied citron and a handful of currants. And a few glace cherries that were going nowhere fast in the pantry. The goal: to make Sally Lunn taste like a big hot crossed bun. You could use any kind of dried or candied fruit; chopped dried apricots, cranberries, cherries, figs – whatever you think. Or just raisins. Or nothing at all – naked Sally Lunn.
The batter is baked in a round cake pan – the kind you’d use for an angel cake. This keeps it from sinking in the middle, and you can then cut ever so slightly wedged slices. A loaf baked in such a large pan makes perfectly sized slices, but lots of them – it’s like two loaves in one.
Next time I’ll try a savoury Sally, with a handful of grated cheese and a few sprigs of fresh herbs, or add nothing and see how she fares as sandwich bread. Until then I have a tidy stash of sweet slices in the freezer, destined to be toast.