Last week I posted a picture of an empty plate on the bunscuffle Facebook page and asked what you would most like to see on it. There were lots of wonderful suggestions including cream teas, Swiss rolls, toast and butter and raspberry friands (which I will get around to) not to mention £50 notes, Euros and Daley Thompson! But the suggestion that made me stop and think was crumpets.
We like crumpets at bun scuffle despite years of the kind of jokes you have to expect when your last name is Crump. We like them for breakfast, as a mid afternoon snack or just when we get in from work tired and hungry and dinner seems a long way away.
The little holes in the top of a crumpet are perfectly designed to hold onto melted butter so a little goes a long way. They taste great topped with jam or honey or Marmite or even a little ripe brie which begins to melt over the hot … I’m getting carried away now but the crumpet is a lovely vehicle for the sweet or savoury topping of your choice.
I have to confess that I have always just bought crumpets in the past but today, especially for all you lovely people who take the time to read my blog, I have made them from scratch. Have a go – it takes longer than just popping them, ready made, into the toaster but it is well worth the effort.
450g / 1lb strong white flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp / 1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
300ml / ½ pint milk
300ml / ½ pint water
4 crumpet rings or 3in plain (not fluted) pastry cutters
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
Mix the milk and water and heat to blood temperature (when you dip your [clean] finger in it should feel neither hot nor cold). Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk / water mix and leave for a minute or two.
Pour the warm milk / water into the flour and beat well to give quite a thick, smooth batter. Cover with a tea towel or cling film.
Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it has a light, spongy texture.
Very lightly oil a non-stick frying pan (use kitchen towel to remove any excess oil) and place over a very low heat. Grease the crumpet rings and place them in the pan then leave to heat up for a minute or two.
Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings about half to two thirds of the way up. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.
These crumpets are best eaten at once but can be kept warm or re-heated in the oven without too many problems.