An Anglo Saxon breakfast invention that – yes – you can make yourself!
Crumpets are a favourite weekend breakfast food of mine, served hot, smothered with butter and a little honey. Similar to pikelets, crumpets have a spongier texture and a characteristic honeycomb pattern created by the addition of yeast and sometimes baking powder.
While delicious and comforting, crumpets are not much more difficult to make than pancake simply with a longer resting time (which can be well spent reading the newspaper before other family members get their hands on it).
Taste wise, unlike store bought crumpets, these distinctively characteristically honey comb covered, spongy ‘cakes’ have a heavier texture and far better taste, as the smell when cooking them will testify.
Serve them warm or refrigerate and toast later.
10g dried instant yeast (7g fresh yeast)
225g plain flour
180ml warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Mix the yeast with a few tablespoons of the warm water and stir it around until it dissolves. Add the sugar and salt and leave the yeast for about 5 minutes in a warm place or until it starts to look foamy.
Sift the flour and whisk about two-thirds of the remaining water into the flour then add the yeast. The mixture should be thicker than pancake batter, but pour quite easily - add more water if necessary.
Cover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes or until the mixture doubles.
After the mixture has doubled heat a non-stick frying pan gently. Use crumpet* or egg rings and grease each lightly with butter. Melt a little butter in the pan and swirl it around evenly. Put the rings in the pan and spoon enough batter to fill each one about half-full (about 1cm high).
Cook slowly on a low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until small holes appear and the tops of the crumpets start to look dry. Lift off the rings, turn the crumpets over and cook for another minute or until they are golden.
Serve immediately with butter and your choice of condiment or refrigerate them for up to 1 week and warm them in the toaster.
*Crumpet rings are similar to egg rings but 10cm in diameter and are 2cm in height.
Makes 8-16, depending on ring size.