Recently there have been posts explaining the derivation of Sally Lunn
bread. Most have cited that this bread may have been named for a woman
called Sally Lunn who sold these cakes. I don't recall seeing the other
explanation which I find more credible. Sally Lunn is believed, by some, to
be a corruption of the French "soleil et lune" or "sun and moon" which was
the name of a similar yeasted cake. Just as we have corrupted the
"croissant" into a "crescent roll", I can imagine that the English
corrupted the name of a bread that they admired and adopted for their own.
As to the bread basket business, here is my take. There are baskets and
there are baskets. I have only used the baskets that I purchased at SFBI
years ago while taking classes there. They were so much less money than
from KA and I didn't have to pay for shipping either. SFBI also sold couche
material and non stick, reusable baking liner by the yard which was very
cost effective. I am sure that you can use other types of baskets and cloth
(you want something that will not shed or stick to your dough, however). I
am glad that I spent the money for these baskets and I don't think the
price has changed much over the years. I like using "professional" type
equipment. These are made to last and are time tested, guaranteeing
results. Besides, to this bread baker, they are a thing of beauty that sets
them apart from any other type of basket.
I believe that they can be useful for any free form bread. One doesn't
always know if a proofing dough needs that extra support. When using a
basket, one doesn't have to guess. I usually don't line my baskets with
couche linen as I love the look of the pattern the basket leaves on the bread.
I have found an easy way to evenly coat the inside of the basket to prevent
sticking. If your dough sticks, unmolding will deflate it, destroying all
your hard work. Dip a small strainer into the flour of your choice and
then gently shake strainer over basket sifting the flour in an even manner.
A fairly thick coating is best as too little flour will allow the dough to
stick and too much flour will harmlessly stay in the basket ready to be
tapped out later.
I am thinking of building an adobe oven using the Sunset Magazine's(Aug
'98) instructions. I am also reading "The Bread Buillders" by Daniel Wing
and Alan Scott and "Build Your Own Earth Oven" by Kiko Denzer to help me
plan and design this oven. I reasoned that Sunset's "weekend" project would
be the easiest and cheapest to build and would allow me to see if the bread
tastes better or if baking this way is worth the trouble. If I loved the
results, the oven could be easily broken apart and a more permanent, brick
oven could take it's place. I'd like to hear from my fellow forum members
any thoughts or experiences they have had with building, baking, and care
taking of wood burning ovens.
Ellen aka Gormay