Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The only crumpets I had ever had before were from the grocery store and honestly, I wasn't impressed. Moreover, I couldn't understand why anyone would make such a fuss over this gummy, tasteless, round of bread. Then, I made my own, NOW I understand what all the fuss is about. If you have never met a crumpet you liked, make your own, you will fall in love!
The recipe I used was from the cookbook The Bread Book by Sara Lewis. I like the whole book as a matter of fact. It contains recipes for both handmade and bread machine breads, and its great because most recipes are geared for just one loaf, which is all my two person family needs. It was one of the easier recipes for crumpets that I found overall, that didn't require additional leavening or leaving to rise overnight in the fridge. It actually fit in well with my morning routine as I need about an hour after I wake up before I can eat or drink anything. Also, the cooked crumpets stayed nice and fresh even after refrigeration. I am thinking these will freeze well also.
I did choose to invest in a pair of silicone rings with nifty handles thinking I could also use them for pancakes and eggs. You could also use small tuna cans, with both ends cut out, or biscuit cutters. 3 1/2 inches is good, although mine were a bit bigger.
The only thing I would try next time is to use all purpose flour instead of bread flour, as my dough was not batter like, it was very loose dough like, making it tough to portion out the right amount into my rings. Not impossible, but I did end up making quite robust crumpets.
1 1/4 cups milk (I used whole, since I had some to use up)
1 1/4 cups water
3 3/4 cups flour (I used bread flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
Warm milk and water in a small pan. In a large bowl put the flour, then stir in the yeast and salt. Gradually stir in the milk and water mixture to make a smooth thick batter.
Cover bowl with oiled plastic then with a tea towel and leave in warm place for 1 hour or until the batter is well risen and bubbling.
Brush the insides of your rings with oil, and keep an oiled paper towel handy to re-oil your pan occasionally. Using a non-stick pan or griddle, arrange your rings and spoon enough batter into your rings to make a depth of about 1/2 inch. (mine were 1 inch deep)
Cook gently, until the tops have bubbled and look dry. Loosen rings and remove, then turn over and cook the other side until pale golden.
To keep warm, wrap the cooked crumpets in a clean tea towl set on a plate. Cook the rest of your crumpets the same way, greasing the rings and pan with oil as needed, until all the batter is used up.
So I needed to split mine because they were so big, but I do believe that traditionally they are not eaten split apart, but they are toasted on the tops only. Toast them, and enjoy!