I’m working on a new story and crumpets play a key part in the tale, so I decided to make some. To my knowledge I’ve never even tasted them before, so it would be a good experiment.
Wanting to use a true British recipe, I reached out to a wonderful friend in England and she shared one that was easy enough even I could follow the step by step directions.
For all my British friends out there – my apologies for messing with your long-standing traditions! Here is a link to some crumpet history, if you are unfamiliar with them.
The key component of crumpets, from my limited understanding, is to have plenty of holes in the surface for butter to melt into. Crumpets were quite popular for tea time in the 1800s and many British families enjoy them today, particularly for breakfast. You can top them with jam, eat them plain – but most definitely serve them with a spot of tea.
2 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm milk
2/3-1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
oil for cooking
Mix flour and yeast in a bowl. Set aside.
Warm milk until it no longer feels cool to the touch, but isn’t hot. (Think baby bottle temperature.) Add sugar and stir until dissolved then stir into flour mixture with a wooden spoon.
Continue stirring 3-4 minutes until batter is smooth. (This is great exercise for your arms!) Cover and set aside for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour.
It should rise up in the bowl and have holes on the surface.
Fill a measuring cup almost full of warm water. Stir in the baking soda and salt until dissolved, then slowly add to the batter. You want the consistency to be like heavy cream. If it still seems too thick, add a little more water. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour a little oil in the bottom. You will need rings for cooking the crumpets. I used pancake rings, but you could use a round cookie cutter, a jar ring, etc. Make sure your rings are well-greased inside. (You can also purchase special crumpet rings if you are so inclined.)
Spoon the batter into the rings until they are about three-fourths full. Cook a couple of minutes until bubbles appear and the surface looks set. Remove rings, turn over and cook another two to three minutes.
Serve immediately or toast before eating with plenty of butter.
She Who Needs Some Tea with her Crumpets