Home-made crumpet recipe
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Crumpets are generally circular though rectangular varieties also exist. They have a distinctive flat top covered in small pores and a resilient, slightly spongy texture, being very porous. Crumpets on their own are bland and so are generally eaten hot with a topping (usually butter). Other popular accompaniments include cheese which may or may not be melted on top of the crumpet, a poached egg, jam, Marmite, marmalade, honey, peanut butter and maple syrup (not all of them at the same time of course).
A pikelet is similar to a crumpet, but thinner and sometimes irregularly shaped. However, the meaning of pikelet varies: in some regions of Britain it traditionally refers to a crumpet (in the the West Midlands, for example), a muffin or teacake in other geographical areas.
These are just brilliant fun to make. You'll need to leave the dough to ferment for an hour or so at first, however they only take minutes to cook and can be eaten straight away. What you don't eat you can freeze as they keep really well. If you make the huge crumpets and cut them into quarters you won't even need any special tools. Go on, give them a try!
Home-made crumpet recipe
These can also be made in a breadmaker, see Home made crumpets (bread maker recipe).
- 225 g (8 oz) strong white bread flour or very strong white bread flour. It probably doesn't hurt to sieve the flour to aerate it.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried active yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 55 ml (2 fl oz) water
- 275 ml (½ pint) of milk
- 20g Butter to serve
- Cooking rings
- Heat 55 ml (2 fl oz) of water and all of the milk and the sugar in a small pan until it is 'hand-hot' (also known as lukewarm or blood temperature) - no higher or you will kill the yeast
- Pour the liquid into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast onto the milk
- Whisk the mixture well and leave in a warm place (eg airing cupboard) for 15 minutes so it can start to ferment
- It should be frothy if everything is going well
- With a wooden spoon, fold in the flour and salt and mix well so that eventually you have a smooth, fairly liquid batter
- Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in the warm cupboard for 50 minutes. If it's not started to foam after an hour, leave it a little longer. It won't come to any harm.
Cooking the crumpets
- Heat a lightly greased, heavy-based/thick-bottomed frying pan to medium-high, oil your egg rings and spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each ring. Use a high temperature oil such as rape or groundnut oil.
- After a while, they will start to bubble and form holes in the crumpet. Allow them to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the surface dries, they are ready to be turned.
- Carefully lift off the rings, flip the crumpets over and cook on the other side for just a minute
- If you knock the rings while the crumpets are cooking it tends to break the seal around the ring, making it less likely that they will stick to the pan, thus making them easier to turn over.
- Thoroughly clean the rings and re-grease before making the next batch, or see Chef's tip below!
Serve immediately with lashings of butter. Toast them in the same way as you would normally do if they are not going be consumed straight away.
Well, it's been pointed out before that I am a lazy cook. It's true. I find messing about with the rings (especially the steel ones as they tend to stick) a bit tiresome. So I made a few normal crumpets using the rings, and then, when I got bored, made a couple of great big ones by just pouring a huge dollop of batter straight into the pan without any restraining rings. They would be especially good if you are doing Jamie Oliver's eggy crumpet recipe! If you need to re-toast them, just cut 'em up so they fit in your toaster. (Alternatively, just stick them under a preheated grill.)
This also means it's possible to make crumpets without rings if you're careful and don't mind slightly irregularly-shaped ones; and you certainly don't have to make them as big as I did. By the way, the big crumpets take about two ladlefuls of batter (200 ml).
I also think the trick to be successful with these is to make them a little bit thinner than shop-bought crumpets.
Mini frying pan
The Tefal one egg wonder 12 cm mini frying pan is just the right size to make single crumpets!
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