Instead I went to the ‘authentic’ and ‘original’ Sally Lunn shop. Oh Dear. So much mystery and myth masquerading as historic fact. The ‘Sally Lunn’ is a sort of large soft brioche ‘bun’. I have briefly considered them before, but it is time to take the investigation further. The local absolute truth is that French Huguenot called Solange Luyen arrived in
An intriguing variation of the story has Sally Lunn being a Scottish cook employed by a Mme. Narbonne (also a French émigré – this time from the Revolution) and the location is her pastry shop in St. James’ in
A final story is that the name derives from ‘Soleil et Lune’ – a bun that was dark on the bottom from contact with the oven floor and cooked to golden perfection on top. Mispronunciation of this name made it sound like it might be a girl’s name – and Sally was born. Now, this story sounds plausible. We did make croissant into crescent roll, didn’t we?
The story is a bit like that of Pavlova. Meringues have been around for a several hundred years, so the argument is really about who named it, not who invented it. Rich bread doughs have been around for a long time too, and one variety was called a Bath Bun. Is this a clue?
This project needs more time, but I offer you a Bath Bun that sounds like the Sally Lunn tastes.
Take half a pound of flour, seven eggs, seven eggs, seven spoonfuls of new yeast, two ditto of sherry, two of rose-water; stir all well together, and set to rise before the fire; then work up a pound of butter, with a pound of flour, and stir all well together, and bake them in a hot oven, this quantity makes two dozen.