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   BAKING
Crumpets
Makes 24 crumpets.

INGREDIENTS: Strong plain flour - 350 g (12 oz), Fresh yeast - 15 g, or 7 g fast-action dried, Tepid water - 300 ml, Salt - * tsp, Bicarbonate of soda - * tsp, Milk - 225 ml (8 fl oz),Vegetable oil.

COOKING:1.Sift 175 g (6 oz) flour into a mixing bowl and crumble in the fresh yeast or sprinkle in the fast-action dried yeast granules. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the water. Gradually mix together until smooth, beating well as the flour is worked into the liquid. Cover and leave to stand in a warm place for about 15 minutes until frothy.
2. Meanwhile, sift the remaining flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, make a well in the centre, then pour in the yeast mixture and the milk. Mix to give a thick batter consistency.
3. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the batter for 5 minutes to incorporate air. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, until sponge like in texture. Beat the batter for a further 2 minutes.
4. Place a large, preferably non-stick frying pan on to a high heat and, using absorbent kitchen paper, rub a little oil over the surface. Grease the insides of 3 crumpet rings or three 8 cm (3 inch) plain metal pastry cutters. Place the rings blunt edge down on to the hot surface and leave for about 2 minutes, or until very hot.
5. Pour the batter into a large measuring jug. Pour a little batter into each ring to a depth of 1 cm (inch). Cook the crumpets for 5-7 minutes until the surface of each appears dry and is honeycombedwith holes.
6. When the batter has set, carefully remove each metal ring. Flip the crumpet over and cook the second side for 1 minute only. Cool on a wire rack.
7. Continue cooking the crumpets until all the batter is used. It is important that the frying pan and metal rings are well oiled each time, and heated before the batter is poured in. When required, toast the crumpets on both sides and serve hot with butter.