Fancy a bit of crumpet?
My wonderful mum recently came out to visit, with a bag full of requests from us, marmite and Dairy Milk for the girls, herb seeds, vast quantities of yeast and vanilla extract for me, and a Mermaid crumpet ring kit, I assume from Lakeland Plastics. There are a few things that, although available from a small number of places, can be quite expensive, so this was a great idea. A quick google search for the aluminium rings shows you can get them pretty cheaply elsewhere too.
The great thing with these rings was the pack came with a recipe, which was promptly tried. Results were excellent, and disappeared smothered in butter and jam as quickly as I could grill them! The only thing I will be working on is trying to get more bubbles to rise to the surface, you know the shop bought ones are riddled with them so you have loads of porous, oozing with butter tops? Well, the first few we made we followed the instructions of a very low heat, no bubbles, lovely, but no bubbles for my butter. I was using a huge electric frying pan so started nudging up the heat, you will need a decent non-stick pan that gets even heat throughout, and although you want a low heat, you definitely get more bubbles and I think a better crumpet if you put a little more oomph than your lowest heat on them.
Other than that, these were a cinch to make!
These ingredients make 12-15 crumpets according to the pack, we got closer to 20, the batter wouldn’t stop expanding!
450g / 1lb strong plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons / 1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
300ml / 1/2 pint warm milk
300ml / 1/2 pint warm water
4 crumpet rings
- Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl(you need room for proving, it’s going to roughly double in size), stir well and make a well in the middle.
- You want your milk and water tepid, then pour it in and mix well to make a batter, no lumps. Cover with a teatowel or clingfilm and leave somewhere fairly warm for about an hour, until it has a light looking, spongy consistency.
- You need to knock out the air now, so stir it well, and pour into a large jug. I had to use 2 jugs and learned that if you put it in a straight sided one it’ll just keep on growing and spill out all over the work surface, you have been warned! So leave some room in your jug for it to expand.
- Ready to go! Put a little oil into your pan, and wipe it out with some kitchen roll, then use the same piece to oil your crumpet rings.
- Put your pan onto a low heat and place your rings in to heat up for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the rings, it can be a bit gloopy so have a spoon to hand to stop the flow, you want to fill the rings about half to two thirds. The batter should roughly double, and they will slowly cook, leaving the bottoms golden brown, and small holes should appear on the tops and the batter will dry round the sides and the top. Expect it to take 10-12 minutes.
Don’t try to remove the rings too early as if they haven’t set hard enough you will wreck the shape! A couple of mine needed a little help, I used a table knife to carefully prise away from the rings. You will need to use a tea towel to hold the rings as they get very hot! Once they have set, you can take the rings off, use a spatula to lift them from the pan, pop them onto a baking tray and slide under a grill to finish off(2-3 minutes medium heat).
Regrease the rings, let them heat up again and do the next batch, until you’re out of batter! Knock out the air of the batter as it starts to grow again.
You can either eat the crumpets straight away or let them cool, and reheat under the grill when you want them. The few we did have left were lovely reheated!
There is a crumpet recipe from the Hairy Bikers I’ll be trying out too, I’ll let you know which worked better!