Butter? Jam? One Lump, or Two?

Hubby and I have been reading a lot of novels set in England lately, which makes us think of English food — and also, of course, brings forth fond memories of the week we spent in London back in 2006. And one of the things this has given us a hankering for is crumpets.

A few months ago, I did some Googling and tried a crumpet recipe that seemed promising. Well, the bread it made was edible — fine to go along with our morning cuppa Barry’s Gold Blend tea at breakfast or as a snack later in the day, but a crumpet, it was not — no lovely nooks and crannies. And as you can see in the demonstration below, the nooks and crannies are the thing:

Not to be deterred from having our own tea and crumpets at home, I did some more Googling and came across this recipe posted by PJ Hamel which sounded quite promising: Butter’s Best Friend. The recipe is 1) quick and easy, 2) promises nooks and crannies, and 3) has the pictures to prove it! (BTW, PJ says that the difference between a crumpet and an English muffin is that “The crumpet is a moister, denser, flatter English muffin, one whose holes extend all the way from center to top surface. It’s these holes that make the crumpet so delightfully decadent: spread a pat of soft butter on a hot crumpet, and it disappears. Spread jam, and it disappears, all save a telltale swipe of color.”)

If you don’t have muffin rings, you can make them without — ‘though they won’t be as symmetrically shaped, of course — or you can save tuna fish tins that you wash out and remove both the top and bottom.

Here is PJ’s recipe, as I followed it — you’ll want to visit her original post for all the lovely step-by-step photos and instructions:

English Crumpets (This made 16 crumpets)

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  1. I heated the milk (I used 1%) and water together in a saucepan, then removed from heat and dolloped the 2 tablespoons of butter in the warm liquid to melt.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, I dumped in the flour, yeast, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Once the milk and water mixture had cooled to lukewarm (I placed it in a sink of cool water to hurry the process along), I poured that into the bowl with the flour and mixed it up with my mixer.
  4. I covered the top of the bowl with cling wrap and placed it in a warm spot for about an hour to raise. It was nearly coming out of the bowl 55 minutes later, so I may have let it raise a bit too long — or maybe I should have used a larger bowl! (I used my medium-sized mixing bowl with the pour spout on it for ease of pouring out the batter.)
  5. Lightly oil/grease a griddle or skillet (I used my large non-stick skillet). The recipe says to make sure your muffin rings are well greased, and as I’ve had trouble with even my non-stick rings sticking, I got serious about it: I poured some canola oil into a small bowl and rolled the rings in it before placing them in my lightly oiled non-stick skillet. And it worked, too, as I didn’t have trouble with the rings sticking. The recipe also says to heat your griddle/skillet to about 325F — less than what you would do for pancakes.
  6. I stirred down the batter (it was in danger of over-running the bowl!). For each crumpet, the recipe calls for a scant 1/4 cup of batter. I eye-balled it.
  7. Now, the recipe instructions state “After about 4 or 5 minutes, lift the rings off the muffins. They’ll be set enough to hold their shape. If necessary, wipe the rings clean, and re-grease.” Mine seemed to set-up more quickly than that (maybe I had the skillet a bit too hot?).
  8. Once the crumpet is fully bubbly and dry along the edges, flip and lightly toast the other side. Now, a “proper” crumpet is cooked on one side only, but like PJ (who wrote this recipe), I feel better browning the other side.

Now, my crumpets didn’t have much in the way of bubbles, nooks, and crannies on the outside, as they’re supposed to, but when I sliced into one to toast it, there were nooks and crannies inside. Also, mine are a bit undercooked in the middle — easily  remedied by toasting — which is another thing that makes me think that I may have had my skillet a bit too hot — but I think they’ll be okay, as I’ve simply stored the leftovers in the ‘fridge, and we’ll toast them up before eating them.

Hubby was quite pleased with how these turned out — he said, “Oh, now THESE look like crumpets, and are nice and light!” — he ate his like pancakes, with sugar-free syrup, while I split and toasted mine and had with some butter (well, calcium-enriched margarine spread) and sugar-free strawberry preserves  — and I think with a bit more practice, I’ll get even better with them. 🙂

They smell so yummy, you’ll be tempted to break out in song and dance 😉

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About MissieLee

I love tasty food prepared in a healthy way with a budget in mind.
This entry was posted in Bread, Yeast Bread and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Butter? Jam? One Lump, or Two?

  1. LinnieGayl says:

    I can barely believe I’ve never had a crumpet! This does sound like a pretty straightforward recipe, though.

  2. Vikram says:

    I love them! I have them with onion chutney or at times, pesto sauce. This is one dish that goes amazingly well with groundnut chutney as well and is healthy as the groundnut chutney provides the much needed proteins and good fats (http://www.nandyala.org/mahanandi/archives/2005/05/13/peanut-chutney/), whilst the crumpets takes care of the carbs (although all-purpose flour is a bit too carby!)

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