When you leave your homeland there are always some foods that you miss and you either suck it up, rely on care parcels or come up with your own version… One of the foods for me was crumpets and I started working on my homemade crumpets almost as soon as we arrived in Hungary, they are yet another wonderful memory of childhood, sat on my grandmas lap with butter running down to my elbows munching on crumpets. Now my Grans crumpets were not homemade crumpets but they were and remain one of my favourite things to eat, soft a springy inside full with all of the holes full of melted butter and freshly toasted and crispy on the outside… Think freshly buttered toast only a million times better!
My quest to make my homemade crumpets were pretty disappointing to start off with and 8 years ago when we arrived here the only web access I had was dial up, yes dial up was my only web access! As such I did not have access to anywhere near the sort of resources I take for granted today, however I stumbled on a great recipe by a baker called Dan Lepard. You may remember the name, I used his recipe for my pickled cucumber bread which he helped me out with tremendously when I was struggling, top chap right the way around! I made a few changes and moved to full fat milk rather than semi skimmed and also added fizzy water rather than still water, but these things rock!
Apparently crumpets are an afternoon tea ‘thing’, but for me they are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a supper snack and the great thing about them is that they freeze wonderfully. This recipe will make a cool dozen homemade crumpets and I usually serve 2 per person, although I could easily eat half a dozen of them! Eating crumpets with jam seems very popular but for me they are vehicle for butter, lots and lots of butter, it melts wonderfully and gets held in all the little holes that in the homemade crumpets as they cook. If you must add jam feel free to do so and I will judge you quietly, but seriously give them a try with just an obscene amount of butter, if it aint dripping down your arms when you are eating them you have not got enough!
I am beginning to slow down for the Christmas period now and we are nice and quiet and enjoying our freedom from all things gardening. We did our annual trip to Budapest to do our Christmas shopping and take in the Christmas markets and vast quantities of beer, I need the beer as the thing I hate doing more than anything else is shopping. We had a great giggle and consumed far too much of everything, but we did manage to stop by our favourite Indian restaurant, we never eat Hungarian food in the big city, it is a rare opportunity to eat something that is not Hungarian food and not have to cook it ourselves.
You should definitely make a mental note to knock up a batch of these wonderful homemade crumpets over the festive period, I guarantee your guests will be delighted with these treats even if you have not heard of them before. A real taste of old school Britain and a real taste of my childhood and something that I love very much!
Homemade crumpets are a wonderful breakfast, brunch or supper treat and the finest way to increase your butter intake 😉
Course Breakfast, Snack
1TspSoft Brown Sugar.
350mlFizzy bottled water.
1Tspcoarsely ground sea salt
1/2TspBicarbonate of soda.
Sift the yeast and flour in to a large mixing bowl and then add the sugar and mix together.
Heat the milk and water in a pan until it reaches around 20°C.
When the milk and water mix reaches the appropriate temperature and then add to the flour mix and beat until it reaches a smooth mix, it should be half way between un-whipped single and double cream in texture.
Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm room until the mix has increased in volume between 50% and 100%, this should take about 2 hours.
Then stir in the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Meanwhile heat a heavy based frying pan over a low to medium heat, if the pan is too hot the base of the crumpets will burn before the 'bubble' structure has a chance to form, too cold and the mix will run from underneath the ring moulds.
Add a little oil into the pan and then pour in 1.5cm of the mix to the 10cm baking rings, I can fit 4 rings into my frying pan.
Allow the crumpets to slowly cook, they will take around 10 minutes, they need to slowly cook and form the bubbled look that crumpets are known for.
When cooked the top of the crumpet will be dry and pock marked with holes, at this point in time you can flip the over and cook fro no more than 30 seconds.
At this point in time the crumpets can be frozen.
To serve grill on the cooked side first and then flip them over and grill the side with the holes and the lavish with loads and loads of butter!
I understand that jam and butter is a popular way to serve crumpets, I however think anything other than butter is insane, but fill yer boots if you want jam 😉 Adapted from Dan Leppard: Baking with Passion
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