I wonder how many people actually make their own crumpets? These holey, yeasty, rounds have always been a favourite breakfast or tea-time treat in our household, toasted - double-toasted in my case as I like the edges to be crispy and crunchy - slathered with butter and a good dollop of marmalade or jam. Mmmmm....I am salivating at the thought of all that deliciousness. Shop bought specimens can sometimes be disappointing and so, when our good friends rang and suggested a day of “crumpet experimentation”, I just couldn’t resist!
We followed a fairly simple Hairy Bikers recipe, which was easily found on the BBC website and we discovered that the majority of ingredients were store cupboard essentials – strong (bread) flour, plain flour, dried yeast, salt, sugar, milk, bicarbonate of soda and some water – oh yes, butter (or similar) for greasing the ‘rings’. Chefs' rings, or cooking rings, can be found in many high street or internet shops.
The strong flour, plain flour, dried yeast, salt, sugar and milk were mixed to a stiff batter and then left to rise in a cling-filmed bowl until doubled in size. Bicarbonate of soda and water were then added and the mixture again left for the bubbles to make their magic appearance. This wasn’t a fast process but the resulting gloopy, erupting, mass was now ready for the final stage.
Our rings were buttered and placed to warm in a frying pan and then, when ready, we spooned in the pulsating mixture. As crumpet-making-novices, none of us knew whether the alchemy would work but after browning on one side, the rings were removed, the crumpets turned over and, yes, a small miracle had occurred – they actually looked and tasted like the real thing!
After several batches were griddled, buttered, topped and eaten with relish, we all readily agreed that further “crumpet experimentation” would be required at some time in the future....I can’t wait.