Although the folks in Britain and Ireland consume more tea than anywhere else on the planet, no self-respecting Afternoon Tea would ever be complete without a “proper” crumpet.
There is one thing that I found in my travels, and that the production of a crumpet can have some local variations. For example, some are cooked on both sides, and some are only cooked on one side. In this recipe, they are cooked on both sides.
Oh, one more thing… Please don’t ever pick up an English Muffin, and call it a crumpet. To the uninitiated eye they might look similar… they are not.
Some cooking rings. They actually make, what are called crumpet rings; however, any cooking rings of the right size should work.
Chef's Tip: A good crumpet ring should be about 3.5 inches (8.5cm) wide, and 1 inch (2.5cm) tall.
Begin by whisking the flour, milk, water, and yeast into a thick liquid. A bit thicker than say, heavy cream.
Chef’s Tip: To accomplish this, mix all the ingredients, except the water, and then slowly add the water until you achieve the correct consistency.
Cover the bowl, and leave in a non-drafty corner of the kitchen until the liquid gets nice and bubbly. This can take (depending on kitchen temperature) several hours.
Now, whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter.
Lightly grease the crumpet rings, and set aside.
Chef’s Note: The greasing of the crumpet rings is very important, because the crumpets will need to slide easily out of the rings, during cooking.
Put some oil on a paper towel, and lightly grease a fry pan or flat griddle.
Heat up over medium to medium-high heat.
MAKING A TEST CRUMPET
Place a single greased crumpet ring on the hot griddle or fry pan.
Use a ladle to add batter to the ring but don’t fill to the top, give it a bit of room to expand.
Chef’s Note: If the batter runs out the bottom of the ring… the batter is too thin. Add a bit more flour.
It's okay if a bit runs out… however, most should stay within the ring.
After a few minutes, you should see bubbles beginning to form on the surface of the crumpet… Just like making pancakes.
Chef’s Note: If you don’t see many bubbles, your batter is too thick. Add a bit of water.
If you see a lot of bubbles, then after about five minutes, remove the ring, and gently (very gently) turn the crumpet over (unless you prefer to cook only on one side).
Chef's Tip: Be gentle when turning the crumpets over. If you flip them too hard, it will collapse a lot of the bubbles on the surface, and we want those bubbles.
Chef’s Note: If the bottom is too brown, turn down the heat a bit.
Cook for two or three minutes, and remove from the heat. The top (that’s the part you turned over), should not be as cooked at the bottom. Nicely brown on the bottom, lightly brown on the top, with lots of holes for butter and jam.
Repeat the procedure until you have the perfect crumpet.
KEEP CALM AND COOK ON
You should now have a good batter, and temperature for cooking the remaining crumpets.
Chef’s Note: If you don’t have any crumpet rings, you can always add a bit more flour to the mixture, and then drop dollops of batter onto the hot griddle and cook for a few minutes on each side. However, if you do this you won’t have a crumpet; you’ll have a pikelet.
Serving Tip: Crumpets store well in the fridge, and can even be frozen. Just reheat them before serving. And those holes in the bread are excellent for holding melted butter and jam… Enjoy.