British Week – Crumpets

Amazingly, we’ve reached the end of British Week!
A  few days ago my UK blogging friend Emma Sarah Tennant messaged me that she was enjoying some of my spring honey on a crumpet.
Okay, I know that crumpets are iconic.
But here’s an embarrassing confession.  Anglophile that I am, I didn’t know what a crumpet was!
I pictured it as something like a fortune cookie.
It turns out that a crumpet is what we Yanks call an English Muffin!
I’m sure British crumpets are much better than our store-bought muffins, especially when they are made from scratch!
So here to round out British Week is a kick butt recipe for crumpets!! Enjoy them with butter and honey!! (If you want Romancing the Bee honey, contact me!!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (230g) unbleached white bread flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (230g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 0.6oz cake fresh yeast (15g) or 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (510ml) lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons (10g) coarse sea salt, crushed or ground (use about half this if you’re not grinding your own coarse sea salt. If you’re measuring by weight instead of volume, you’re fine.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (140ml) lukewarm milk

And to prepare the crumpets, you’ll need:

  • a griddle or cast-iron frying pan
  • 4 crumpet rings, about 3 1/2 inches diameter, greased

Instructions:

Sift together the flours and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Crumble the fresh yeast into a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the lukewarm water until smooth. If using dry yeast, mix the granules and the sugar with 3/4 cup lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining lukewarm water.

Mix the yeast mixture into the flour to make a very thick, but smooth batter, beating vigorously with your hand or a wooden spoon for two minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot until the batter rises and then falls, about 1 hour.

Add the salt and beat the batter for about 1 minute. Then cover the bowl and let stand in a warm spot for 15 to 20 minutes, so the batter can rest.

Dissolve the baking soda in the lukewarm milk. Then gently stir it into t he batter. The batter should not be too stiff or your crumpets will be “blind” — without holes — so it is best to test one before cooking the whole batch.

Heat a very clean griddle or frying pan over moderately low heat for about 3 minutes until very hot. Put a well-greased crumpet ring on the griddle. Spoon or pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the ring. The amount of batter will depend on the size of your crumpet ring.

As soon as the batter is poured into the ring, it should begin to form holes. If holes do not form, add a little more lukewarm water, a tablespoon at a time, to the batter in the bowl and try again. If the batter is too thin and runs out under the ring, gently work in a little more all-purpose flour and try again. Once the batter is the proper consistency, continue with the remaining batter, cooking the crumpets in batches, three or four at a time. As soon as the top surface is set and covered with holes, 7 to 8 minutes, the crumpet is ready to flip over.

To flip the crumpet, remove the ring with a towel or tongs, then turn the crumpet carefully with a spatula. The top, cooked side should be chestnut brown. Cook the second, holey side of the crumpet for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pale golden. The crumpet should be about 3/4 inch thick. Remove the crumpet from the griddle. Grease the crumpet rings well after each use.

16 thoughts on “British Week – Crumpets

  1. jmgoyder says:

    Crumpets always make me think of my childhood!

  2. Emily Heath says:

    I thought these were English muffins? http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/sweet/english-muffins.html. They’re what we use for eggs benedict and are more substantial than crumpets, as they don’t come with holes. Crumpets soak up butter spectacularly well.

    Either way, I love the thought of honey on them!

  3. willowbatel says:

    I had no idea what crumpets were either! I assumed they were something like a scone. You are fantastic for posting a recipe; I’ll have to make it immediately! As soon as my wax is out of the oven I’ll start on this!

    • You are making me feel a lot better! I felt very goofy not knowing what a crumpet was, especially given my intimate knowledge of English literature… :-)
      P.S. What is your wax doing in the oven??

      • willowbatel says:

        Lol.
        I extracted a deep frame of honey yesterday, and since I’m still doing the crush-and-strain method, I put the comb into a tin turkey pan. I strained out as much honey as I could and then put the pan directly into the oven. Wax is conveniently lighter than honey so it separates out and I can just pour the molten honey out into my little half pint jars. I was hoping to use the wax for candles or something, but it’s really unattractive and isn’t melting down as well as I’d hoped. The good news is I’ve collected 3 pints of honey from this single frame! I’ll post pictures soon!

      • Great!!
        I’ve collected a lot of wax cappings that I was hoping to mold into candles. That’s why I asked! :-)

      • willowbatel says:

        One of the books I bought recently gives instructions on how to purify wax… I think I lent it to my neighbor though. I’ll have to ask her for it tomorrow and copy it down for you!

      • That would be great! I’ve made candles before, but never with beeswax.

  4. oceannah says:

    Who Knew!? I made english muffins many years ago and they are so YUMMY home made. I’ll bet yours were extraordinary w/ some new honey on them!!
    *anna

  5. I didn’t know either, but now I’m dying to try them!

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