Saturday, November 3, 2012

Home made crumpets for the crumpet club

My good friend "The Cottagers Wife" dubbed myself, Connie and herself as the crumpet club because of appreciation of English Literature and TV, Downton Abbey in Particular.  We met this past weekend to watch the first two episodes of season 2.  Connie was the only one that had not seen them at all, but I was happy for an excuse to watch again and break out my Mother's Minton china.

Since we were calling ourselves the Crumpet club, I thought that it was important that we had crumpets, and in fact I thought we really ought to have home made crumpets.  This is not something I have ever made before or even had for that matter.  But for some reason I actually have crumpet making rings in my cupboard, I have no idea why or when I got them, but any way it was obviously meant to be.

I found the recipe on Delia Smiths website a fairly reliable source for English recipes. And they turned out to be much easier to make than one would have imagined. You can use any ring a cookie cutter or egg ring, if you don't happen to have crumpet making rings in your cupboard.
8oz (225g) flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dried yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 (275ml)pint of milk

Heat the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water together in a small saucepan till they are 'hand hot' or you could do the same thin in the microwave which is what I did. Then pour into a jug, stir in the sugar and dried yeast and leave it in a warm place for 10-15 minutes till there is a good frothy head on it

Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre then, when the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it all in.

Next use a wooden spoon to work the flour into the liquid gradually and beat well at the end to make a perfectly smooth batter. Cover the basin with a tea-towel and leave to stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes - by which time, the batter will have become light and frothy.

Then to cook the crumpets: grease the insides of the rings well, and grease the frying pan as well before placing it over a medium heat.

Arrange the rings in the frying pan and, when the pan is hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the crumpet batter into each ring. Let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes: first tiny bubbles will appear on the surface and then, suddenly, they will burst, leaving the traditional holes. Well that is what Delia said, the "traditional holes" did not really magically appear, but undeterred I carried on.

lift off the rings and turn the crumpets over.

Cook the crumpets on the second side for about 1 minute only. Re-grease and reheat the rings and pan before cooking the next batch of crumpets. Serve the crumpets while still warm, generously buttered. If you are making crumpets in advance, then reheat them by toasting lightly on both sides before serving.

Though missing the traditional holes these were very tasty served with home made blackberry jam and very appropriate for afternoon tea between episodes of Downton Abbey.

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