Saturday, 13 July 2013
How to make crumpetsrecipes
It's school hols here, and we've been spending a lot of time indoors by the fire, in our pyjamas mostly. That's what winter holidays are for right?! There has been lots of drawing, reading and knitting along with a little outside cubby building when the sun comes out.
You could certainly call the pace slow. Which is just the way we like it. Slow days call for a slow snack and what better snack to make than crumpets. So much better than any store bought version, home made crumpets are easy to make, you just need time.
I've tried lots of different recipes, but the best I've found by far is Elizabeth David's version from her book Bread and Yeast Cookery. Add plenty of good butter, be generous with the honey and washed down with a few cups of tea and you've the perfect snack for a slow winter's day.
Some tips on cooking crumpets:
It might look complicated at first glance, but crumpets are easy to make, but you'll just need to start a couple of hours ahead. Most of this time is for resting the batter.
Crumpet rings are available from good kitchenware shops, although I successfully used egg rings before I invested in a set for myself. Just use a little less batter.
You need to lightly but completely grease the rings and the pan before each crumpet is cooked to prevent sticking and making an unfortunate mess.
Elizabeth David's Crumpet Recipe written in 1973
550g milk and water mixed
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil
For the second mixing
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
Warm the flour in an earthenware bowl in a low oven for 5 minutes. Warm the oil, milk, water and sugar to blood heat. Use a little of this mix to cream the yeast.
Mix the salt with the warmed flour, stir in yeast, pour in liquid, stir the batter very well and vigorously until it is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl leave the batter to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Stir down the risen dough with a wooden spoon. Then mix bicarb soda into the water and stir it into the batter. Cover and leave the batter to recover for about 30 minutes.
To cook the crumpets, grease a large heavy frypan and crumpet rings very lightly. Place four rings into the frypan and fill the rings about three quarters to the top.
Let them cook very gently until the surface has formed a skin, about 7 - 10 minutes. By this time there should be a mass of tiny holes. If the holes haven't appeared the mix is too thick, so add a little more warm water or milk before cooking the next batch.
Once the crumpets have set it is easy to remove the rings and flip the crumpets over. They will only need 3 minutes more cooking. They're not supposed to be as coloured as mine, a little paler, but never mind. Keep the crumpets warm warm in a folded cloth or in a covered dish in the oven, while the rest are cooked.
Elizabeth David says she only finds crumpets edible when freshly cooked, warm and soaked in plenty of butter and she reckons toasting them later makes them tough.
So we do as we're told and eat them all straight away. Not very slowly. Still in our pyjamas.