Homemade crumpets

Remember the last time I made crumpets? I was experimenting with all sorts of uses for Charlesford and not only did a recipe for sourdough crumpets miraculously appear, but so did a recipe for english muffins.

I am immensely proud to say that I have found a fantastic recipe for crumpets that I can use with our CSA whole wheat flour!

The April issue of delicious. magazine had a few different kinds of bread recipes created by a Brit chef by the name of Paul Hollywood. The one recipe that immediately caught my eye was, of course, that of the crumpets.

It’s a wonderful recipe that doesn’t take all that much effort, if you use a stand mixer, but it does require a little bit of time where you just hang around waiting for the yeastie beasties to so their wonderful thing.

The original recipe calls for the use of plain, “strong” (a term I’ve noticed that is primarily used in the UK) and all-purpose flours. Since I have only whole wheat & pastry flours on hand, I used that and personally, I think it actually made for a really nice combination, texturally as well as flavour-wise. I’ve written out everything, below, to reflect the changes & substitutions that I made to the original recipe.

I’ve noticed that if you use whole wheat flour in a recipe with a 50/50 ratio to all-purpose flour, the results will ordinarily be a little bit on the drier side. Not terribly unpleasant, but sometimes just not quite what you want in your baked goods.

Surprisingly, using the whole wheat flour in this recipe, maybe because I used cake/pastry flour instead of all-purpose, it resulted in a perfectly textured crumpet! It had the proper sponginess, perfect bubbles throughout the entire cakelet, as well as on the top.

When I made the batter, I let the batter rest the final 20 minutes as written and initially cooked, maybe, half a dozen crumpets. Since it was a Friday lunch that I was making these for, I left the remaining batter on the counter while we ate lunch and then finished making crumpets. There was no harm in leaving the batter for the extra time, if anything it probably gave it time to develop more bubbles!

The only minor issue I had was with the flavour, but I am pretty sure that was from overcooking a few of the crumpets and had absolutely nothing to do with the recipe itself. I think there may have also been a bit of rye flour residue mixed in with my whole wheat because it had that slightly reminiscent rye-bitterness flavour to some of the crumpets, but it was certainly not enough to dissuade me from making them again in the near future.

I am pretty darned pleased with this recipe and will hopefully be making them more often than once in a blue moon.

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Crumpets
Makes 10-12

175g whole wheat flour
175g pastry flour
14g yeast
1 tsp sugar
350ml warm milk
1 tsp sugar

150-200ml warm water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Oil

Put flours, yeast & first measure of sugar in bowl of stand mixer.
Warm the milk & second measure of sugar in microwave safe jug until just comfortable to touch.
Add the milk to the flours and beat mixture until you have a nice smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour or so, until nicely risen.
Mix 150ml warm water with baking soda and salt in a jug & stir til dissolved.
Pour baking soda water into batter and mix until evenly combined.
Add 50ml+ warm water or as much as you need until you have a nice dropping consistency.
Cover the bowl again and let rest another 20 minutes or so until you have bubbles appearing on the surface of the batter.
Heat a flat griddle pan or heavy based frying pan over medium-low heat.
Lightly, but thoroughly grease crumpet rings (I used mini springform pan rings, minus bottoms)
When you think your pan is ready to go, lightly grease and make a test crumpet to begin — because as with pancakes, the first one never turns out properly!
Place your greased ring into the frying pan and ladle in enough batter to fill about halfway. If you’re using proper crumpet/english muffin rings, fill until just below the rim (~3cm deep)
After about 6-8 minutes*, the bottom of the crumpet should be browned and the rest almost cooked through. Carefully remove the ring with tongs & set aside — be careful, it’s hot!!
Flip your crumpet over and let cook 1-2 more minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
Ideally you should eat the crumpets while they’re still nice and warm & seerved with butter and your choice of sweet toppings — ie: jam, jelly, maple syrup etc… ^_^

*I honestly didn’t time my crumpets. I poured in the batter and when it looked like the top was mostly set & dry looking (the holes didn’t refill themselves with batter as the bubbles popped) then I removed the ring, took a peek underneath to see if was nicely browned then flipped over the crumpet for the last minute of cooking until the second side was also nicely browned.

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