Sneak Preview: This bread machine blueberry bread is a memorable Sally Lunn-like yeast bread with fresh, sweetened blueberries swirled throughout.
Eating this bread always inspires a “Folger’s” moment for me. Just like the advertisement, I want a long-lost relative to knock on the door and surprise me while I’m enjoying my morning coffee.
I would have already whipped up this cozy blueberry bread for us to snack on. In my imagination, we would chat about happy memories, the latest gossip, and why we have or have not let our hair go gray.
Back to reality…
See all those messy blueberries inside the bread? They “melt” as the bread bakes. It will remind you of the freshest blueberry preserves imaginable smeared on cake-like bread. Sweet, but not too sweet.
Don’t worry: If you don’t have a bread machine, you can make this bread with a stand mixer or by hand. See the recipe notes.
What is Sally Lunn?
A large sponge cake-like bread, more like a bread than a cake that is either yeast or baking powder based that can be made either into a cake, buns, rolls, or even a loaf of bread.”What’s Cooking America
The idea of adding blueberries to Sally Lunn is inspired by a recipe for “Fresh Blueberry Brioche.” See it for yourself in Huckleberry, authored by Zoe Nathan.
The problem with that recipe is the two-day period required to make brioche. I often don’t think ahead.
Thankfully, Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway have an excellent Sally Lunn recipe in their book Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints. Although this book is older, bread machine users will find it very helpful.
Use leftovers to make French toast, bread pudding, or Toasted Cheese Sandwiches with Muenster cheese. YUM!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- BLUEBERRIES: Fresh blueberries are the way to go with this bread. In the original recipe, I froze the berries but found that step is not necessary. Rinse and let them dry. That’s all!
HINT: Buy the smallest blueberries you can find. Your loaf will be prettier.
- HEAVY CREAM: Substitute half and half if you prefer. Your bread won’t be quite as rich as the authentic Sally Lunn.
- WATER: Spring water is my first choice for all bread. If you don’t have it, tap water is fine.
- EGGS: I use only large-size eggs in all my bread recipes.
- SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. If you use Kosher salt increase the amount by 1/4 teaspoon.
- BUTTER: There is no substitute for butter in my book. Be sure it is room temperature but not melted.
- SUGAR: Use granulated sugar inside the bread. You’ll notice I gave a range for the sugar in the dough. You can choose the sweetness level.
It doesn’t matter if you use granulated or powdered sugar for sprinkling over the berries. Sanding sugar or coarse sugar is my first choice for sprinkling on top of the loaf. If you don’t have it, leave it off or use granulated sugar.
- FLOUR: The recipe specifies part all-purpose flour and part bread flour. Feel free to substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour if you can’t get it. The bread flour helps the rise making it a bit lighter.
- YEAST: I always recommend instant or bread machine yeast for a bread machine recipe. See the recipe notes if you only have active-dry-yeast.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. The bread in the picture doesn’t look like it came out of a bread machine. How did you do that?
The directions listed here will show you how to mix and knead the bread in a bread machine using the DOUGH cycle. You’ll remove the dough and shape it by hand. Incorporate the berries at the same time when shaping. Let the dough rise again in a loaf pan, then bake in your conventional oven.
2. If I don’t have a conventional oven, can I mix, knead, and BAKE this in my bread machine?
Using fresh, whole, blueberries make using a bread machine problematic. Kneading the bread with fresh blueberries in it will result in a bluish-purple bread.
You could “pause” the bread machine and remove the bread from the bread machine pan after the first rise. Shape the bread and incorporate the blueberries according to the directions given here. Remove the blades and place the shaped dough back into the machine. Then continue the regular bread cycle.
3. I have a mini bread maker. Can I use this recipe in it?
This recipe makes a 1-1/2 pound loaf. Check your manual. I’ve listed weights to make it easy to reduce by a third to make a 1-pound loaf.
4. My bread looked done on the outside but when I took it out after 40 minutes, it was raw in the middle. What happened?
If you use a pan smaller than 9 x 5-inches, the loaf will take longer to bake. My best recommendation is a quick-read thermometer. It’s the only way to know for sure that your bread is completely baked. I couldn’t make bread without one.
5. My loaf got too brown on top even though I baked it at 350˚F. What should I do?
When you put your loaf into the oven, set your timer for halfway through (20 minutes). If the loaf is already golden brown, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top.
6. Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh?
Frozen blueberries tend to be too watery. Stick with fresh for this recipe
7. One of my family members has high blood pressure. Can I cut back on the salt?
Salt is an important component of any yeast bread recipe. Going without salt is like driving a car with no brakes.
In the same way the brakes and the gas pedal work together in a car, salt controls the yeast. The salt keeps the yeast from rising out of control, exhausting itself and then falling flat in the oven. It also shores up the gluten and makes your bread taste fabulous.
If you want to cut back (not out), experiment with 1/4 teaspoon less and see how it goes.