April 14, 2021
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In honor of our new cooking vacation in the United Kingdom, Quintessential Cotswolds Culinary tour in England, we’re sharing a favorite recipe for crumpets, that delicious English pastry that is something of a cross between an English muffin and a pancake.
Crumpets are made with a yeast dough and made on a hot griddle, much like what we refer to as English muffins in the US, but the dough is thin, like a batter, and they are mostly cooked only on one side, with perhaps a quick flip to finish off the other.
They are traditionally served with butter – it soaks into the holes and crevices on the top – but they are also good with a bit of jam or honey. What kind of butter? We are big fans of a grass-fed salted butter on crumpets, such as Kerrygold or Finlandia. Of course, any butter at all will be delicious on a warm crumpet!
They do require one piece of specialty equipment: crumpet rings/molds. Biscuit molds or circular cookie cutters can be used, or in a pinch, you can use cans of about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cutting off both ends and cleaning the insides thoroughly. Still, crumpets are easy and delicious, you’re going to want to invest in some crumpet rings!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Rising time: 1 hr 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Specialty equipment: crumpet rings
1. Combine the milk, sugar, and yeast and let sit 5 minutes. (If using super rise yeast, you do not need to let it sit 5 minutes).
2. Add the flour and salt and 1/4 cup of water and beat in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 3-5 minutes or with a wooden spoon in a bowl until the dough is smooth and stretchy but sticky.
3. Place in lightly oiled bowl and let sit for 30 minutes in a warm place.
4. Return to the mixer or mixing bowl. Mix together the remaining 3/4 c of water and the soda, and mix into the dough to form a batter (the batter does not have to be completely smooth).
5. Set aside for 45 minutes in a warm place.
6. Heat a large skillet or grilled over medium low heat. These are not pancakes! You need a lower heat than you would use to make those. Coat the surface lightly with oil (a flavorless oil like vegetable or safflower seed oil). Run oil also on the inside of the crumpet molds. Add between 1 1/2 T (if a 2 1/2 inch mold) and a scant 1/4 cup (if a 3 1/2 inch mold) of batter to each mold. Do not overfill. Cook until the bottoms are browned and the tops filled with small bubbles and holes, about 10-12 minutes (or until the center is 190 degrees if you have a good instant read thermometer), removing the molds about halfway through. Tip: if your griddle is large enough, you can start a new batch while the first ones are still cooking!
7. Turn the crumpets over to cook for about 30 seconds on the “top” side. Serve warm and “whole” – do not slice them in half! – and enjoy.
The crumpets are delicious with some butter, jam, or fresh fruit. At Thanksgiving time we like to serve them with leftover cranberry sauce. They are a perfectly delicious treat year round!
By Peg Kern
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