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Rounded yeast-raised white wheatflour buns, about 4ins diameter and 2ins high, made with sugar, egg, butter and a little lemon and sweet spices. Light baked, glazed with sugar syrup and sprinkled with coarse sugar. Known at least since Cleland 1755.
'Dinner' from 'The Comforts of Bath'
Thomas Rowlandson, 1798
Original Receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined by John Mollard, 1802 (Mollard 1802)
Knead well together four pounds of sifted flour, a pint of yeast, a little orange flower water, three eggs beaten, a little grated nutmeg, some salt,
Original Receipt from A modern system of domestic cookery, By M Radcliffe. (Radcliffe 1822)
Excellent Bath Buns. Take two pounds of fine flour, a pint of ale yeast, with a glass of mountain wine and a little orange-flower water, and three beaten eggs; knead the whole together with some warm cream, a little nutmeg, and a very little salt. Lay it before the fire till it rises very light; and then knead in a pound of fresh butter, and a pound of large round caraway or Scotch comfits. Make them up in the usual form of buns, or any other shape or size, and bake them on floured papers, in a quick oven. These buns are truly excellent; and, by leaving out the comfits, and substituting milk for the cream, and mountain wine, &c a very good, cheap, and common bun may be easily made,
Elizabeth David suggests that the Great Exhibition of 1851 may have contributed to a devaluing of the Bath Bun, as such large quantities were manufactured for the visitors that pressure on price led butter to be replaced with lard, so that Buns produced outside of Bath were known as 'London Bath buns' or 'London buns'.
Sally Lunn Buns
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