Monday, 6 April 2015

Crumpets

Crumpets are an English tradition.  I nice doughy bread, with holes caused by bicarbonate of soda.  The crumpets are not baked in an oven, but cooked on a flat griddle, or frying pan on top of the stove.

I used a Paul Hollywood recipe, from BBC Food.  In it he says to mix the milk in with the flour and yeast until it is a smooth batter.  I think this is very important, to get the batter smooth.  It is likely to be this that allows the holes to form satisfactorily.

Getting the temperature of the griddle right is key as well.  If too hot the base will burn before the holes have come to the top.  A 'medium' heat is a fairly unscientific instruction, so I had to do it by trial and error.  The first ones were slightly too dark on the underside, but reducing the heat slightly seemed to have the right effect.

I think more bubbles would have been better, but for a first attempt the results are quite good, the texture is exactly as it should be, even if the number of holes is not as great as expected. Holes are important as that is what allows the butter, when spread on them, really get into the crumpets.

I have already eaten three, and could easily be tempted to more, with another cup of tea.

But rather than that I am going to go shopping for some semolina, so I can try to make some English Muffins next.

Crumpets
Ingredients:
  • 175g/6oz strong white flour
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 350ml/12fl oz warm milk
  • 150-200ml/5-7fl oz warm water
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sunflower oil for cooking
Method:
  1. Weigh the flours in to a bowl. Add the yeast and stir through the flour.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the warm milk and pour onto the flour. Using a wooden spoon beat until you have a smooth batter. This will take 3-4 minutes and is hard work, but is essential to produce the holes in the crumpets.
  3. Cover and leave for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. The batter will rise and then begin to fall. You will see marks on the side of the bowl where the batter was before it dropped.
  4. Mix the bicarbonate of soda and salt with the warm water and beat it into the batter. Add about ¾ of the water and keep adding it until you get a double cream consistency. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Heat a flat griddle or heavy based pan. Lightly grease the inside of four metal crumpet rings. Lightly grease the griddle. Sit the rings on the griddle over a medium heat.
  6. Drop two dessert spoons of mixture into each ring. After 4-5 minutes bubbles should appear and the surface should be set. Carefully turn the crumpets in their rings and cook for a further three minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or leave to cool and then toast before eating with plenty of butter.

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