Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sound the Trumpets, It's Time To Make Crumpets!!!

Truth be told, for a very long time, all I knew of a crumpet was "the mountain North of Whoville where the Grinch lived"   You know, the mean & green dude who had the audacity to try and steal Christmas.   Yeah, "Catastrophic Fail", that was.

Well, as I mentioned in my Scone post, I spent a little while in London and the surrounding countryside.  During my meanderings, I was introduced to this thick, slightly chewy, savory pancake with little holes all over the top, just waiting to soak up, and harbor, copious quantities of melted butter.  Amazingly, this perforated pancake was named after the mountain that the Grinch lived on.  "Who" would uh thunk it?

Thus began my crash course in English food, or at least things that I equated as being decidedly of the Commonwealth.  Lemon Curd, Devonshire Cream, Scones, Muffins (English), Crumpets, Toad in the Hole, Marmalade (Orange, not "Creole Lady") Scotch Eggs and Fish & Chips doused liberally in malt vinegar (hold the tarter sauce please)  YUM-O-RAMA!

So what exactly IS a crumpet?  Very simply, a Crumpet is a savory pancake.  Ah, But there is a "Rub" (there's ALWAYS a rub)  Just as a Brussels waffle relies on yeast instead of Baking Powder, so too does the Crumpet utilize little yeasty beasties to leaven itself, thus leaving plenty of Baking Powder for the Scones.  :)  There is one other thing; a crumpet is fried in a metal ring (which can also be used to bake English Muffins) though you can also use silicon "egg rings".

But enough yammerin, it's time to get to mixin' up some batter, because you need to let the batter raise 2 separate times for 1 hour before it's sufficiently delicious enough to make a good crumpet.


3/4 cup luke warm Water (about 110 degrees)
1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
2 pkg (4 1/2 tsp) Active Dry Yeast or 30 g of Fresh Cake Yeast
4 cups (460 g) Bread Flour (AP will not give you enough chew)
3/4 tsp Cream of Tarter
1 1/2 cups luke warm Water
4 tsp (10 g) coarse Salt (such as Course Grey Salt)
2/3 cup Whole Milk (again, luke warm)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Butter for the Griddle and the Griddle rings

In a small pitcher, combine 3/4 cup luke warm water with 1/2 tsp sugar and stir to dissolve.

Sprinkle with 2 pkg Active Dry Yeast over the water and stir.

Set this aside and allow it to bubble and fizz for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl (trust me, it needs to be large) whisk the Bread Flour and Cream of Tarter together.

When the yeast has begun to party in the pitcher, go ahead and add it to the Flour mixture

along with an additional 1 1/2 cups of luke warm water.

Now the fun part....  You need to beat the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon until it becomes smooth. (1-2 minutes)

Don't try to use an electric mixer, because the beaters spin so fast that it will develop too much gluten before the batter smooths out and you will end up with overly chewy crumpets.

Cover the batter with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, grind your salt into a fine powder with a mortar and pestel.

When the dough has finished it's first rise, (see why I use a big bowl?)

sprinkle with the finely ground salt.

Stir the batter well to incorporate the salt, this will slow down the second rise a little.

Once incorporated, cover the batter with plastic again, and allow to rise in a warm place for an additional hour.

After the second rise is complete, stir Baking Soda into the luke warm milk.

Add the Soda/Milk to the batter and stir to combine.

The batter should now be the consistency of Heavy Cream.

Heat your griddle.

Butter your griddle. (whether it's non-stick or not)

Butter the Rings (this is important for metal, not quite so much for silicon)

Place the rings on the griddle....

Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into each ring and cook for about 6-8 minutes

Watch for the bubbles.

You will notice that the top will begin to set from the outside towards the center....

When the top is mostly set, remove the ring, (it should slip right off) and set them aside to cool so you can re-butter them.

Flip the crumpets over and cook for an additional 2 -3 minutes.

Move to a wire rack to cool.

Crumpets are best when served fresh, but they can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator...

To be toasted and buttered as needed (or Marmalade'd)

It looks like a lot of work, but it's really not that bad.  Most of the time is taken up by letting the batter set and rise.  Though I am slightly bias as to their simplicity, simply because they are so unbelievably and utterly delicious!   All buttery and yeasty with a "crispy" on the outside, delectably chewy on the inside.  Once you have had them, you will be totally addicted...



Maryann said...

Crumpets, just in time for the Royal wedding on the 29th. :)

Patti T. said...

Hey, looks like something I can make and enjoy. An added plus is I have everything in my kitchen that would be needed for this.

Unknown said...

I've been thinking about making english muffins. I always thought crumpets were "their" name for english muffins but I guess not! LOL. They look great! I don't have rings but I can save little tuna cans and give these a try. I wonder....how a crumpet would taste if I used a sourdough starter instead of the yeast.