A TALE OF TWO CRUMPETS

I’ve wanted to make crumpets from scratch for the longest time! I love the fact that they are full of tiny holes, smoother and creamier than regular bread, perfect to slather with butter or jam, or top with a poached egg and indulge…   Recently  I took a major step in the right direction, by getting crumpet rings (remember?).  And tried not one, but two recipes, one leavened by sourdough starter, and the second a more authentic version, with commercial yeast and baking soda.  Both methods produced completely different types of crumpets, and I favored the non-sourdough version.  I know, who could imagine that?   ;-)
                                                      (click to enlarge)

TRADITIONAL CRUMPETS
(From Andy’s blog at The Fresh Loaf forum)

250 g bread flour
5 g salt
15 g yeast
275 g water
0.75 g bicarbonate of soda
70 g water

Add the flour and the salt to the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix on first speed for a minute.  Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.  Combine the yeast with the flour/salt and beat on first speed for 2 minutes.  Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl, and beat on second speed for 6 minutes.   Cover the bowl and let it sit on a warm place for 1 hour.

Heat a griddle to 390F (200 C).  Dissolve the bicarbonate in the cold water and mix this solution to the batter.  Use right away, pouring a small amount of batter in well greased crumpet rings.   Cook for about 8 minutes on the first side, until bubbles form and the batter seems almost dry on top.   Remove the rings – carefully, they are hot! – and flip the crumpets, cooking for no more than 2 minutes on the second side.   Cool on a rack, and enjoy!

to print the recipe, click here

SOURDOUGH CRUMPETS
(from The Sourdough Companion)

Preferment
125 g all purpose flour
175 g water
12.5 g sourdough starter

Batter
125 g all purpose flour
175 g milk
300 g preferment (all the amount made)
5 g salt
5 g bicarbonate of soda

Make the preferment and let it sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

Next day, mix all the ingredients for the batter, and let if sit for 4 hours undisturbed at room temperature.  Heat a griddle to 390 F (200 C).  Pour small amounts of the batter in greased crumpet rings, and cook for 8 minutes on the first side, remove the rings carefully, and flip them to cook on the second side for a couple of minutes.  Cool on a rack, and enjoy…

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Both recipes are pretty straightforward, with little hands-on time required. The traditional method allows you to have crumpets ready in about 1.5 hours, versus a little over 4 hours for the sourdough variation (not counting the pre-ferment prepared the day before).   The next sets of photos give you an idea of how different the batters looked right before cooking, and how the authentic version gave a more hole-y texture in the crumpets already during cooking.

A few pointers for success:

1. Do not fill the rings more than halfway, because if you do, the holes will close when you flip the crumpets.  It is tempting to add more batter, but resist the urge to do so.  Also, it will be harder to cook them through if they are too thick.

2. Do not cook them on a griddle that is too hot, or you will have a hard crust at the bottom and the crumpets won’t cook uniformly. Better to keep a lower temperature and cook longer.

3. Do not cook the second side longer than 2 minutes, or you might end up with an English muffin!   ;-)

4. Grease the rings again for each batch of crumpets, so that they are easily removed.  Crumpets are fragile, if they stick to the ring their shape can be compromised.

5. The rings are hot, and stay hot for a while once you remove them from the griddle.  It is easy to forget about it as the second batch gets going (sigh).

In my second attempt – the traditional recipe – things worked a lot better, and even the crumpets that were a bit too thick and “lost the holes” on the surface after flipping, revealed a wonderful crumb structure…

You don’t need rings to cook English muffins because they hold their shape well, but they are a must-have for crumpets.  You can of course improvise using empty, clean cans of appropriate diameter.  This would be a fun weekend project, kids would love to help you out…

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

ONE YEAR AGO: Sweet Emergency

TWO YEARS AGO: The Bread We Love

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26 thoughts on “A TALE OF TWO CRUMPETS

  1. hee-hee, love the title! What a great idea, making your own crumpets, it never occurred to me – that’s so neat. We love the spongy, airy, texture of crumpets and their so yummy with summer berries… Thanks Sally.

    • that plate I got at Target – my gosh, who could tell that plastic could look so good? They are light, and quite affordable, I could not resist getting a few

  2. I did not even know it was possible to make crumpets at home! Very nice project, thanks for posting about it – I don’t have a sourdough starter yet, so I’m glad you preferred the traditional recipe LOL

    • They are indeed a ton of fun – it’s amazing, though, how a very simple thing still needs practice to do a good job. A little more heat, a little more batter, and you don’t hit the perfect crumpet.

      but, I do enjoy the ride, no matter the bumps on the road

    • If you are like me, these disasters tend to prevent me from going back and trying again – for months! Years! ;-)

      but crumpets are more forgiving, I think – my main disaster has been 100% rye bread. I haven’t recovered from that event, a dark, very dark spot in my culinary adventures.

      • Congrats on your awards, Marie–you dvsereer them both and more! And thank you so much for sharing the award love with me! :o) I’ve been going though a rough patch lately myself, and those words–this too shall pass–have lifted from many a dark moment! And something else uplifting are these crumpet pizza…the toppings and everything about them are calling my name–LOL! So good to chat with you yesterday–always a special highlight! ((BIG HUGS))

        • Hello there, Lashey
          Just replying to you because it seems to me you wanted this comment to go to some other blog, and it landed here by some convoluted twist of the blogosphere… :-)

          I tried clicking on your name but it took me to Facebook, so I’m hoping you will see the reply here

  3. I’ve never had a crumpet before. This looks so good! I’ll try the traditional version…if you say it’s better than the one with sourdough it must be good!

    • I think the main problem with the sourdough version was adding the baking soda too long in advance – most recipes stress the fact that the soda needs to be added right before cooking, which makes perfect sense. I am not done yet with the sourdough version, I have another recipe to try in the near future…. stay tuned! ;-)

  4. Pingback: The Crumpet Shop, Seattle, WA « Cow Tales By a CowGirl Cook

  5. I used to love crumpets but I ate them every morning during one of my chemo sessions and now I can’t face them anymore.

    There is a really easy English muffin recipe on my blog if you ever want to make them. You make the dough and leave it to rise over night. Then it only takes a few minutes to cook them for breakfast.

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