….or breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or supper, if you’re my children! I usually just buy a pack or 2 of Warburton’s crumpets from the Co-op, but I was the lucky recipient of some of these crumpet rings for my birthday recently (Sandy knows me well!), so I thought it was time to try some home-made.
The conclusion? They’re delicious, and frankly the ones in the packet (with apologies to Mr – or Mrs – Warburton) just don’t compare. Here’s the recipe I’ve used – it’s adapted from Elizabeth David’s version. You definitely need rings to stop the mix going everywhere – but a friend of mine recommended using cleaned out tinned salmon/tuna cans (but watch out for the sharp edges), if you haven’t got a lovely husband who buys such thoughtful birthday presents! You’ll also need a large heavy-based frying pan or a flat griddle.
125g plain white flour
125g strong white flour
300ml of whole milk
1 tbsp sunflower/rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp sugar
7g fast acting dried yeast
large pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
75ml warm water
You will get around 7-8 crumpets from this quantity of dough, using 9cm rings. You can double the quantities if you want to cook more.
- Turn your oven on to Gas Mark 2 / 150C and measure out the flour into a large heat-proof bowl (or if you want to use your mixer to beat the dough later then measure it into your mixer bowl). Put the flour in the oven to warm through for 5-10 minutes (this will depend very much on how quickly your oven heats up!) – the flour needs to feel just gently warm to the touch.
- Meanwhile measure the milk, oil and sugar into a saucepan and heat very gently until it’s warmed through to blood heat (37C if you want to use a thermometer).
- Remove the flour from the oven (you can turn the oven off now), stir in the yeast and salt, then add the contents of the saucepan and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Beat the dough for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon or for 3 minutes if you are using a mixer (use the K-beater, not the dough hook). The resulting dough will be very wet and a bit stretchy.
- Cover with a damp cloth, or piece of cling film & leave in a warm place (I put my dough back in the switched-off oven), to rise for 60-90 minutes.
- When the dough has had its first rise, dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water and then stir it into the dough.
- Leave to rise, again in a warm place, for another 30 minutes. The completed dough should have the consistency of a stretchy, thick, pancake batter.
- When you are ready to cook your crumpets, grease your griddle/pan and your crumpet rings very thoroughly with butter or oil. Put the rings on the griddle and preheat to medium hot.
- Fill the crumpet rings just over half full with the doughy batter, and turn the heat down low. Cook very gently for around 7-8 minutes until the crumpet is cooked through. If everything has gone to plan, the crumpets will have doubled in size and you will have that lovely holey effect on the top.
- Once the top has set you can ease the crumpet out of its ring (a flat bladed knife is useful here, and a cloth to protect your fingers), and flip the crumpet over to give the top a lovely golden colour. Don’t be tempted to flip until the top is solid, or you will lose your holes!
Serve straight away or leave to cool on a wire rack – you can grill them to perk them up again later. We like to serve ours with honey, Nutella, jam (the jam in the picture is our Citrussy Rhubarb jam), golden syrup… you can tell we have a family of sweet teeth here!
I wont lie to you – there’s definitely an art to this which will come with experience.. here’s what might be going wrong if you’re having trouble with these:
Bottom burns before top is cooked:
– you have your griddle too hot.
– you’ve filled the crumpet rings too much.
There are no holes – it’s a crumpet disaster!
– your dough is a bit too thick – add a little bit more warm water.
– you’ve filled the crumpet rings too much and so the crumpets are struggling against gravity..
Hope that bit didn’t put you off… it really is worth having a go at these – they taste amazing – they’re so light and fluffy. Yum!