Traditional English Crumpets

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Traditional English Crumpets

Crumpets are made from a simple milk, flour, salt and yeast mixture and are traditionally baked on a cast iron griddle in special metal 'crumpet' rings.

In the modern kitchen, we sometimes cheat and cook crumpets on a big old-fashioned cast iron frying pan or on a baking sheet in the oven.

The underneath of a crumpet should be smooth and brown while the top should be full of tiny holes.

Crumpets are traditionally served toasted as part of a old fashioned English High Tea along with neat cucumber and salmon sandwiches, small iced cakes and a pot of proper tea made with real tea leaves (not teabags).

Cook's note: In my house crumpets are always toasted both sides and served with lashings of butter and strawberry jam – delicious!

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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb of Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1¾ pints of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast

Cook's note: We used 4 inch crumpet rings but you could just as well use a large, well greased, metal cookie cutter.

Preparation and batter mixing

  • Start by greasing the crumpet rings to prevent the mixture sticking as it cooks
  • Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
  • Warm the milk, then take half a cupful and dissolve the yeast into it. Leave this mixture somewhere warm until the yeast starts to work. A brownish froth will appear on the surface when ready after about five minutes.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour. Pour in the warm milk and yeast mixture, then add the rest of the warm milk. Beat vigorously together (to incorporate air into the mixture) until mixure has a thick batter consistency.
  • Cover and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes to rise.

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Cooking method 1 – Griddle

Place a large, preferably non-stick, frying pan or cast iron griddle on to a high heat and grease the surface thoroughly.

Grease the insides of three or four crumpet rings or plain metal pastry cutters. Place the rings onto the hot surface and leave for about two minutes until very hot.

Pour the batter into a large measuring jug. Pour a little batter into each ring to a depth of 1 cm (½ inch). Cook the crumpets for five to seven minutes until the surface of each appears dry and is honeycombed with holes. Then turn the crumpets out of the rings onto the griddle and cook for a further two to three minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Cooking method 2 – Oven

Grease a baking tray and position three or four well greased crumpet rings on top. Place the tray and rings into a preheated oven set to 200 degrees Centigrade or Gas Mark 5 until it is very hot.

Cook's note: Remove from the oven carefully to avoid the risk of burn injury.

Pour the batter into a large measuring jug. Tip a little batter into each ring to a depth of 1 cm (½ inch). Cook the crumpets for 20 to 25 minutes until the surface of each appears dry and is honeycombed with holes.

When the batter has set, carefully remove each metal ring. Turn each crumpet over and cook the second side for 2 minutes only, then remove from heat and cool on a wire rack.

Cook's note: It is essential the frying pan/griddle/baking tray and metal rings are well greased for each batch, and heated properly before the batter is added.

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