Served warm with butter and honey, crumpets are a classic English breakfast or teatime treat.
On a visit to England a couple of years ago, I spent a good part of a day in Nottingham going from store to store in a disappointingly fruitless search for egg/pancake/crumpet rings, such was my desire to try my hand at these scrumptious yeasted pancakes. After so many years living in a country where we couldn’t just grab a bag at the supermarket, we ate dozens of them on that vacation, and we didn’t want to have to wait until our next visit. In the end, I ordered them online once I got home… then they sat in a cupboard for two years, unused. Until now!
My Secret Recipe Club assignment for June was A Taste of Madness where Cathleen blogs about cooking and baking her way through life in Canada. I headed straight for her stunning desserts page, then it occurred to me that we had house guests coming, so breakfast would need to be served. Scrolling through dozens of amazing choices, my eyes landed on the word crumpets. It was destiny!
Makes about 20
Preparation: 10 minutes
Resting: 1 – 2 hours
Cooking: about 30 minutes, in batches
375ml (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm milk
450g (1lb OR 3 3/5 cups, spooned and scraped) all-purpose flour
5g (1 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
2 tsp granulated sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking powder
Whisk together the flour, yeast and sugar.
Stir in the milk.
Add half the water and beat it into the batter, slowly adding the remaining water until the batter is smooth and thick. You can use a wooden spoon to combine the water then whisk until smooth, or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to combine the water then switch to the whisk attachment to get the batter smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 – 2 hours, until doubled in volume and bubbly.
Whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter.
Heat a teaspoon of neutral oil (e.g. sunflower or canola) in a large, non-stick skillet on medium-low.
With a large spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into egg/pancake rings, then remove the rings and flip the crumpets when bubbles are covering the surface and it has mostly set on top, about 3 minutes. Cook the tops for about 2 minutes, until golden.
Transfer to a wire rack or plate lined with paper towel.
Note: They will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge. Just pop them in the toaster to warm up before serving.