Nothing is more comforting on a cold winter day than a hot freshly made crumpet dripping with melted butter. Not as difficult to make as you may think - just a simple yeast batter with added bicarbonate of soda which gives the baked crumpets their characteristic holes. You'll need a flat cast-iron griddle pan to cook the crumpets on and metal crumpet rings about 2.5cm deep. If you can't find crumpet rings round metal cookie cutters can be used instead.
- 150g strong plain white flour
- 100g plain flour
- 1tsp caster sugar
- tsp salt
- 7g sachet easy-blend or fast-action dried yeast
- 300ml milk, warmed
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150ml warm water
- Butter, for greasing
Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon to make a batter then beat vigorously for 3-4 mins until smooth and elastic.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hrs until the batter has doubled in size.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the warm water and beat into the risen batter. Cover and leave for a further 30 mins until the mixture is full of tiny bubbles.
Heat a cast-iron flat griddle and grease lightly with butter. Grease 4 x 9cm round metal crumpet rings or cookie cutters and place on the griddle to heat. Spoon the batter into the crumpet rings to come up about 1cm. Cook gently for 8-10 mins or until the surface sets and is full of tiny holes. Carefully ease off the rings, flip the crumpets over and cook for a 1-2 mins until golden.
Keep the crumpets warm while cooking the rest of the batter, wiping and re-greasing the rings for each batch. Serve warm buttered or leave to cool and toast when required.
Top tip for making Crumpet
If you toast the crumpets under a grill, toast the smooth side first and then the top, so the butter will melt into the holes!