I have always thought crumpets to be magical, both in their powers to transform even the worst morning into the best, and also in their very existence and form. Surely those perfect pits, so eagerly poised to hold on to your topping of choice (for me always an obscene amount of butter), are created by some sort of kitchen witchcraft or wizardry. It would appear not…
This is how the (mortal) magic happens…
Recipe adapted from Jo Wheatley’s, A Passion for Baking
INGREDIENTS (makes 10-12):
500g Strong bread flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Caster sugar
7g Fast-action yeast
250 ml Water, warm
350 ml Full-fat milk, warmed
Oil, for greasing
You will also need a griddle pan, or a sturdy, non-stick frying pan, and 2-4 (the more, the speedier) crumpet rings or plain pastry cutters.
Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre.
Combine the warm water and milk in a jug before pouring the wet mix into the dry and whisking until you have a smooth, thick batter.
Cover the batter and leave to rise for around an hour.
Heat your chosen pan over a very low heat and brush with a little oil.
Add the rings to your heated pan (lightly oiled if not non-stick), and pour your batter into them, filling each to just under two-thirds full.
Cook the crumpets on a very low heat until their bottoms are a golden brown, their tops are covered in characteristic bubble-holes, and the batter appears dry. (For me, just under ten minutes.)
Remove the rings, flip the crumpets and cook the tops for around 90 seconds, until tinged brown.
Repeat this process until all your batter is used up.
Have butter to hand, and enjoy.
This is the last post I shall write from my beloved little kitchen in Cambridge. These crumpets are a gift (or bribe, depending on how you look at it) for the ‘man-with-a-van’ who will be getting up obscenely early to drive Jonny and me, Cathy (our fish), and all our worldly possessions to our new pad. So all packed up until we touch down in London town.