I visited the official Sally Lunn tea shop in Bath when we went to England. The buns they serve there are flat and fluffy, a little bigger than a standard hamburger roll. They were served with jam and clotted cream, and they were delicious.
These buns are a little different, since they are baked in a muffin tin. They are slightly sweet, but not sweet enough to make jelly superfluous. King Arthur Flour suggests having them for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea. We ate them throughout the day yesterday, without butter and jelly even, and they were delicious.
The recipe is very easy and doesn’t take long. I opted to add vanilla instead of lemon, but I’d like to try the lemon option. I didn’t have the yeast formulated for sweet dough, but I let the dough rise longer and didn’t have any trouble with it.
The only problem I had was that the recipe only made 12 buns, instead of 24. I weighed the dough out to the recommended 70 g and everything. The buns were almost too big for the muffin cups, so I wonder if halving the weight and making them 35 g would be the right way to go in the future.
Little Sally Lunns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 cup (8 oz) whole milk
6 tbsp (3 oz) butter
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) sugar
1/8 tsp lemon oil or 1 tbsp grated lemon rind (zest); or 2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups (14.75 oz) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 large eggs
1 tbsp instant yeast
1) Combine the milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm, stirring to melt the butter. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and let it cool until it’s below 120°F, about 15 minutes.
2) Add the lemon or vanilla, salt, 2 cups of the flour, the eggs, and yeast.
3) Beat the mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
4) Add the remaining flour to the mixture and beat for about 3 minutes, until it becomes a soft, cohesive dough.
5) Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk.
6) Lightly grease the cups of two standard muffin pans (24 cups total). [My note – as I said above, I only needed one pan.]
7) Divide the dough among the cups of the muffin pans. If you have a scale, fill each cup with about 70g (2 3/8 ounces) dough; the cups will be a bit more than half full. [My note – I might use less than 70g of dough per roll next time, to try to get more rolls.]
8) Cover the pans, and let the rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they’re puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
9) Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads at least 190°F, about 15 minutes.
10) Remove the rolls from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack. Wrap completely cooled rolls airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.