Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sally Lunn Bread + Honeyed Brown Butter Recipe

Let me start this by saying thank you Mom and Dad for taking the hubby and I on a trip to the UK last year. It was approximately a year ago that we went for an amazing trip back to where I was born thanks to the Air Force and where I definitely have some genealogical roots. I have a sweet little Nana whose parents traveled from the UK to Michigan not long before she was born. It was from her and my mom that I earned an appreciation for homemade gifts, foods, and the comfort of a pot of tea. Though I unlike my Nana, need some sweeteners in my beverages!

 When we went the UK I fell in love! I would move there in a heart beat. The beauty of the buildings in the city, the transportation, the pastoral landscapes when we got out of town, the style (I have been trying to get my husband to wear a more tailored suit ever since), and just the magnificent history of it all. One of the days we had the pleasure of traveling to Bath and I could think of hardly anything but Jane Austen, whom I adore.  We also went to the original Sally Lunn's. We just happened to go at a time when they were between breakfast and lunch so there are pictures of both. The pictures really don't do these brioche type buns justice they were amazing! Truly one of the highlights of our eating experiences.
Sally Lunn Bread
Taken from Smitten Kitchen; Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
Ingredients: 2 C all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp table salt, 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast, 3/4 C milk (I used almond milk and it made the taste so uniquely delicious!!), 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk 
1. In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour (Do not be like me and accidentally mix in all the flour this will prevent your yeast from reacting to create a batter! Another thought, I attempted once to use half whole wheat and half all purpose without success the bread was far too dense. I may try again sometime, but the moment I would not recommend), sugar, salt and dry yeast by hand or with an electric mixer.
2. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the mixture is warm (105 to 110 degrees); don’t worry if this butter isn’t completely melted. Gradually pour the warm ingredients into the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or stir vigorously by hand with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and another 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes by machine or 3 by hand. Add the last of the flour and beat or stir until smooth. 
3. Scrape down bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or until doubled. Meanwhile, butter and flour a 9×5x3-inch loaf pan. Once the dough has doubled, scrape it into the prepared pan. Cover with buttered plastic wrap and let rise for a total of 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, however, remove the plastic and preheat your oven to 375°F.
4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Heatter says the bread should make a hollow sound if tapped with your fingertips but I haven’t weathered mine enough yet that I didn’t find it unpleasant.
5. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out to a rack to cool.

Just to note, Heatter suggests that the bread be cooled out of the loaf pan but upside down on the rack, I presume to square off the loaf, so this is an option for more perfectly square bread.

Salted and Honeyed Brown Butter Spread

Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter, divided, 1 to 2 Tbsp honey, Few pinches flaky sea salt

1. In a small saucepan, melt half your butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. While it is cooling, leave the other half of the butter out to soften slightly (semi-firm is fine). (note to self, do not give this particular task to husband AKA sous chef) 
2. Whip softened butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the room temperature browned butter, honey and salt continue whipping until combined. Chill butter in fridge until a nice spreadable consistency, or until needed.