A bit of crumpet

Are you sitting comfortably? yes? good, because I’m about to take you on an epic journey of crumpet experimentation…

Behold, my gorgeous, freshly homemade crumpet dripping with melted butter…

And now behold the saga that preceded that innocent looking bit of crumpet 😉 …

Way back in January I read Food Stories blog post ‘Cracking Crumpets’ and loving nothing better than a challenge, felt compelled to give crumpets a go! The reality is that it’s taken me nearly 4 months to get my act together. But this weekend I embraced my un-hungover state, got straight out of bed and into the kitchen…baking in pyjamas is what Sundays are all about!

So following Food Stories recipe, to make approx 14 crumpets you need…

360g plain flour
2 tsp dry yeast
580ml warm milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix the the yeast and the sugar in a bowl with 250ml of the warm milk. The milk needs to be warm to activate the yeast but not hot! Cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place for about 10 minutes to go frothy.

Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a big bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeasty mixture and finally the rest of the warm milk. Stir using a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover it with cling film and leave it to rest in a warm place for about an hour. Food Stories said that the clingfilm would rise up as the gases build up inside the bowl but fo some reason mine didn’t. I have a feeling that this might have been the reason that my finished crumpets were lacking in holes!

To cook the crumpets you need to heat a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat then turn it down low. Using a piece of kitchen paper, wipe some oil over the base of the pan so it’s got a thin coating all over. Also oil your crumpet rings very well! Then our the batter into the rings.

Behold attempt #1…

I was very excited to see bubbles forming on the surface and had high hopes, which were dashed when this is what I ended up with…

I moved swiftly on to attempt #2, this time making sure I didn’t stinge on oil when greasing my crumpet ring…

Food Stories instructions said to leave the crumpets to cook for about 8 minutes until the top looks like it’s drying out, mine were taking longer than 8 minutes to get to that stage but following twitter advice from @Cookinfrance  to ‘hold fast & wait for those bubbles!’ I held my nerve and waited. Once they reached what I felt was dried out looking enough, I turned them over for a short while just to brown the top…

Attempt #2 was definitely looking more crumpety but I decided I’d try not filling the ring all the way to the top…halfway is more than enough to make a good crumpet.

By attempt #3 I was getting cocky (read impatient) and started cooking 2 at a time…

Less is most definitely more…I was chuffed to see that I’d finally made my very own crumpets, that actually looked and tasted like crumpets…

The only thing my crumpets were lacking were holes! I’d followed the advice given to Food Stories by Ms Marmitelover to add more bicarbonate on soda than the recipe says and still my bubbles didn’t seem to want to surface. As time passed a few more holes graced me with their presence…

and with each attempt my crumpet confidence grew until I was producing these beauties…

I can vouch for the fact that the lack of holes didn’t affect their deliciousness. My crumpets were the perfect weekend tea time treat, one that I’ll definitely be making again…practice makes perfect right!?

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