Have you ever heard of Sally Lunn batter bread? It’s an English creation, from the town of Bath, apparently dating back hundreds of years. This tender, cake-like yeast bread is rich and buttery, with a nice brown bakery-style crust. It seems to be most traditionally made in a tube pan, but … I just didn’t see the point. First of all, then you’re using, like 6 cups of flour and *whoa* Second of all, not everyone has a tube pan. And then there’s the fact that I planned to serve it warm and sliced, with butter, and then to make my kids’ school lunches because, well, it’s bread. It reminds me a lot of brioche, just with many fewer eggs and much less butter. All that means is that you can serve yourself a slice with a ton of butter on top. Perhaps the best part of this bread? How easy it is to make. It has only 1 rise (well, the way I make it), and is a batter dough so there’s no kneading, no shaping.
See how easy it is? Make the batter dough, scrape it into a greased loaf pan and smooth the top. Set it to rise, and then bake. As soon as it comes out of the oven, wrap the loaf pan with the bread still in it in a tea towel for 30 minutes. (This is what allows you to have a nice, tender crust. If you prefer a crunchier crust, allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, uncovered, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.) Remove the towel, and remove the loaf from the pan. Allow to finish cooling, then slice and serve!
Think of this like the enriched version of my Gluten Free English Muffin Bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread. If you can’t have eggs, just make that bread! It has no eggs at all. If you’re dairy free, please see the Bread Flour notes in the ingredients list. Everything you need for success is in there. And as always, please please measure everything by weight, not volume, and you’ll be slicing into that gorgeous loaf of gluten free bread before you know it!
For nondairy protein powder replacements for whey protein isolate, I recommend rice protein isolate or pea protein isolate. You must increase the liquid to 15 fluid ounces. I discuss nondairy alternatives in more detail in on pages 10-11 of GFOAS Bakes Bread.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the bread flour, sugar and yeast, and whisk to combine well with a separate, hand held whisk. Add the salt and whisk again to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, butter and eggs, and beat with the paddle attachment until the dough is smooth. It will be very wet. Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula, piling the dough a bit higher toward the center. Cover the loaf pan with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise until the highest part of the dough rises about 1/2 inch above the sides of the pan (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf pan and slash down the center of the loaf at a 45° angle and about 1/4 inch deep with a sharp knife or lame.
Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the loaf is golden brown all over, registers 185°F in the center on an instant read thermometer, and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom (about 45 minutes).
Remove from the oven and immediately cover the pan with the loaf of bread still inside with a tea towel. This will ensure that the thick crust of this enriched bread is tender when cool. Allow the loaf to sit, covered, for 30 minutes before removing the towel and transferring the loaf to a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve.