I am really enjoying cooking at the moment, but am trying to steer clear of baking too many cakes and sweet treats (I try to make just enough to last the children a week in their lunchboxes, which stops me being tempted). So after my bagel success a few weeks ago, I fancied attempting crumpets. If I am honest, it’s a tough call as to which I prefer out of these two most delicious of savoury bakes… I could eat them for breakfast, lunch or tea. Or supper come to think of it. Anyway, I digress. I said savoury because that’s what I consider crumpets to be. Those of you who think they should be smothered in jam are just plain wrong (and that includes my 6 year old, but I don’t dare tell him that!)
So, after scouring the internet for recipes, I came across a relatively easy one, by The Hairy Bikers, and as is my wont, adapted it a bit (sorry, boys, no offence, it’s what I do – I am rubbish at sticking to recipes). These crumpets turned out pretty well, and came in at a lower calorie count (not sure of the exact numbers, but I reckon about 75-80 calories per crumpet – before they are smeared in butter).
So, if you are tempted to give these a go, here’s what I did…
350ml skimmed milk
225g strong white flour
125g plain flour
1 tsp dried yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 level tsp baking powder
150ml warm water
spray oil for greasing the pan and rings (you could use butter)
1. Put both types of flour in a bowl with the yeast, salt and sugar, and use a whisk to combine, get air in and break up any small lumps (this was a Hugh F-W tip, in place of sifting)
2. Gently warm the milk until tepid.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, and pour in the warm milk. Beat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and elastic (great arm workout!)
4. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
5. When the mixture has risen, mix the baking powder (the recipe actually said bicarb of soda, but I have been told they are usually interchangeable, and I didn’t have any bicarb) with the warm water, and beat into the batter.
7. Heat a griddle pan of flat frying pan over a medium heat. I did my first bath too hot and the bottoms got a little overcooked, so be wary.
8. Spray the pan and the inside of crumpet rings (you all have them, right? No? Oh, well I used cookie cutters – one of which was heart shaped… they worked fine) with the spray oil, and place in the pan to warm slightly.
9. Spoon mixture into the rings, until it is about 1.5cm deep. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the top of the mix has lots of bubbles, and looks dry. It helps to cover the pan after the first couple of minutes.
10. Carefully (with an oven glove) remove the rings, and turn the crumpets over to cook on the top for a couple of minutes. When cooked, remove and keep warm while you cook the rest of the batch. You can also allow to cool and toast when you want them. They should freeze well too.
So, would I make them again?
Err, probably. They are really tasty, have less fat in than shop bought ones, and naturally I enjoyed making them.
How easy were they?
They were easy, but a bit time consuming for the actual cooking part. I could only make 3 at a time, and they take about 10 minutes for each batch, so in all I spent about an hour standing at the cooker.
Anything I’d change?
I didn’t cover the pan for the first ones, and I think it made the later ones lighter when I did cover it. Also, a touch more salt would have been nice – but only a teeny bit more.