I saw these little darlings being made on the Hairy Bikers ‘Mum Knows Best’ recent episode and decided to give them a go. I thought the new stove would be the perfect place to help the batter rise and also to toast them once made: How wrong I was!
The recipe is really very easy…
350ml/12¼fl oz whole milk
225g/8oz strong white flour
125g/4½oz plain flour
1 x 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml/5¼fl oz warm water
butter, for greasing, plus extra to serve
Warm the milk through.
Meanwhile, sift the flours, yeast, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
Make a well in the middle and stir in the milk. Beat for several minutes until smooth.
Cover with cling film and leave to rise until it’s doubled in size.
This is where I went wrong! I popped the bowl on top of the stove and left it for about half an hour. After this time, I was excited to see it had already doubled in size, so went on to the next part of the recipe, whereupon I discovered that the batter mix at the bottom of the bowl had begun to cook! Now I had lumps in the mixture, but I tried my best to get them out, and when that didn’t work, I simply ignored them!
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warm water – it’s this that gives the bubbles you find in the top of the crumpets, which might explain why I didn’t have any, as I used baking powder.
Stir this rapidly into the batter mix, cover and leave again to rise for half an hour or so. (This time I left it by the stove, rather than on top of it!)
Grease the cooking rings, and place on a medium hot flat griddle or a frying pan. Do not butter the pan. Add a couple of dollops of the mixture and let cook for about 6 minutes. Prick with a toothpick if the bubbles don’t appear on their own. When the mixture begins to set, you can flip them over and lightly brown the top.
Toast on an open fire, or if, like mine, they go black because you’ve held it in the flame, cheat, and pop into a toaster! I would also suggest that when you cook them in the pan, you turn the heat down and just lightly toast the bottom and the top to give more opportunity for cooking it through in the toaster!
Serve with slathers of butter dripping from the crumpet.