Crumpets

As I’ve recently rediscovered crumpets, I thought I’d have a go at making my own as, although they only cost 57p for 8 in Tesco, I don’t like the huge list of ingredients you get on packaged things and after scouring the internet for a crumpet recipe, found out I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard.  Result.  The only thing I didn’t have were rings to cook them in, which was easily resolved by a trip to the local hardware shop.  Although with two rings costing £4.25, I’m going to have to make a lot of crumpets to break even.

So, on with the making of crumpets.

First, I got stuck when I re-read the recipe and it said dried yeast.  Is that the same as fast action yeast?  I tried Twittering but got no reply so re-scoured the internet for another crumpet recipe using fast-action yeast but they all looked a bit of a faff, so I decided to risk it and use fast action yeast in the recipe I’d already found.

Ingredients (makes 6 – I halved the original recipe)

4 oz strong plain flour [the other recipes said plain flour so I got confused again but I used strong white flour, the type you use for making bread].

1/2 level teaspoon salt

1/2 level tablespoon dried yeast [I used fast action yeast]

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

1/4 pint milk [I would have used soya milk to make them vegan but didn’t want to open a new litre carton just to use a tiny bit of it so used the moo juice that was in the fridge]

1 fl oz water

Equipment
Cooking rings [I bought the kind used for making poached eggs]
Frying pan

Preparation

Heat the milk and water together in a small saucepan till they are ‘hand hot’.  Then pour into a jug, stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on it [it’s November and therefore not very warm but it did go frothy].

Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.  When the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it all into the mixing bowl.

Slowly work the flour into the liquid with a wooden spoon.  Beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter.

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Cover the mixing bowl with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes – by which time the batter will have become light and frothy [once again, I had trouble finding somewhere warm and I don’t know about light and frothy, but it did change appearance].

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When you’re ready to cook, grease the insides of the cooking rings very well and add a little oil to your frying pan before placing it over a medium heat.

When the pan is hot, arrange the rings in the frying pan and spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into each ring [1 tablespoon is nowhere near enough.  I used about 3 or 4].

Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: first tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then, suddenly, they will burst, leaving the traditional holes.

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Now take a large spoon and fork, lift off the rings and turn the crumpets over.  Cook on the second side for about 1 minute only.  Re-grease and reheat the rings before cooking the next batch [I used a bit of tea-towel to lift the rings off, they slid off easily.  I didn’t re-grease the rings as the first two crumpets I cooked were quite greasy.  The crumpets were quite brown underneath; I don’t know if I cooked them for too long?]

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I ate one as soon as it had been cooked and while the taste and texture were pretty much identical to shop-bought ones, they were a bit greasy and really not worth all that time, effort and mess to make, so Tesco will be pleased to know its profits won’t be dwindling by 57p a week after all.

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