I was fortunate enough to eat lunch at the oldest house in Bath, England, while visiting there. The history of Bath is everywhere and it was hard to soak it all in, but at the same time I was in my element between Jane Austen and the natural history of the city.
Jane Austen may never have tasted a Sally Lunn Bun but she did enjoy a few cups of tea a day. We can assume that some sort of bun was served with tea. Also, we know that she did spend some time in Bath. Unlike Austen, I loved Bath and would love to return.
This recipe has been adapted to use muffin tins.
(Makes 18 ) 4 packed cups (20 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
In medium bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In small saucepan, melt butter.
With electric mixer, 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.
About 2 1/4 hours before serving time, remove dough from refrigerator. Stir down the dough, just a few strokes, with a wooden spoon. With a 1/4-cup measure or scoop sprayed with cooking spray, scoop dough into well-greased or cooking-sprayed standard muffin tins. Lightly butter a sheet of plastic wrap and place, buttered side down, over the buns. Let rise until puffy but likely not doubled in volume, about 1 3/4 hours. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Uncover buns. Bake at 375 degrees about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer tins to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn the buns out of the tins onto the racks and serve warm or continue to cool before storing.
Adapted from Jane Austen's World blog