I do love a crumpet. That perfectly round little guy is unassuming, but the pleasure he gives is unrivalled. From his squidgy, almost indescribable texture, to his sweet and comforting flavour, the soft, pillowy body and a gorgeous crunchy underside…….yes, the humble crumpet is a true delight.
And yet, I haven’t even commented on the crumpet’s true strength – those holes….those butter-sucking, moist-making, jam-trapping holes, that cause things to ooze, squelsh and flow out of your crumpet in a way that’s so disgustingly satisfying. Man, the crumpet sure packs a lot of punch for having such simple beginnings.
Yet, here in Northern Ireland, I don’t find them particulary easy to come by – they are rarely in my local supermarket. And so, I had a go at making my own.
I searched a few recipes online and happened to have an easy-looking recipe in my Paul Hollywood How To Bake book. It’s a odd kind of recipe. Not quite a bread dough as it uses plain flour, and yet the addition of yeast and a double prove, would lead you to believe otherwise. It’s so so simple, you can whip up the batter in a matter of moments, although the 2 hour proving time makes it a bit of a labour of love.
When I first made the batter, I thought I’d done something wong – with almost double the liquid to flour, my batter was the consistency of double cream and full of lumps.
I needn’t have feared. What I created with this batter was for me, the perfect crumpet. Paul nailed it.
What IS an utter bollox though, is how much they stick to the metal rings, no matter how much I oiled or buttered them – there has to be an easier way – any tips, let a girl know!
So, without any more shite talk, here is his recipe, with some amends from Joey:
- 450g plain flour
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 14g instant yeast
- 350 semi-skimmed milk
- 350ml water
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
- Sift the flour into a bowl or your mixer (I used my kitchenaid with the beater attachment)
- Add in the yeast and sugar and mix it together to dispearse
- Pour the milk into a jug and zap it in the microwave for about a minute until it’s blood temperature. Add in the cold water.
- Beat this slowly into the floury yeast mixture – mine was a little lumpy but I just carried on.
- Cover the bowl with cling film or a tea towel and leave the batter to rise at room temp for around 2 hours – I left mine on a sunny window.
- The batter should double in size and be really bubbly.
- Beat in the salt and bicarb and then leave it to rest. Paul’s recipe said 10 minutes, but I preferred the batter after a 30 minute rest.
- Heat a frying pan over a low heat and add some flavourless oil. Oil up four metal crumpet rings really really well and put them in the pan to heat.
- Pour in enough batter to come half way up the metal ring and leave them to cook on a low heat for 10 minutes – until the holes have formed on the top and it’s dried out a little.
- Flip the rings over, I then used a knife around the edges to get them loose and cook for another minute or two to colour the top.
- If you’re eating straight away, then add butter or jam or whatever you want. Otherwise allow them to cool an toast them when you fancy one.