First off, what is a crumpet? It's pretty much a pancakey-muffin that is more English than an english muffin. It's perfect with butter & jam, or smoked and whipped lardo, or make a breakfast sandwich on it. Or have it with tea. You know what you like to eat, just take that stuff and put it on this crumpet and you'll probably be happy about it.
500g stone ground whole wheat flour
700g water, warm
9g fresh yeast or 3g dry yeast
20g salt (reserve)
9g olive oil (reserve)
1g baking soda (reserve)
vegetable oil or clarified butter for cooking
large bowl or container
whisk or a hand
ring mold (optional)
heavy bottomed skillet
First off, a little about the flour (of course!). I used the "Wabash" flour from The Mill at Janie's Farm. You can find it here. This flour is a sifted bread flour, which means that it is very fine like a normal bread flour. This is a good thing because the larger bits of bran are removed which makes these crumpets super light and airy! It is a little lower in protein (11.72%) than other bread flours, but for me that's not a bad thing. It has a very high falling number, which if I were making bread I would probably add some malt, but in this case, no worries! It's great! If you purchase this flour, remember the bran and the germ are still in the flour. This is a good thing! The germ contains tons of fatty acids and nutrients. But it also means you'll want to store it in the refrigerator.
OK so how do we make these things?
First, weigh out all your ingredients. For those of you that are kitchen-savvy, this is called mise en place.
Once everything is weighed out, combine a small amount of warm water with the yeast. Mix this together by squeezing it with your fingers until the yeast is completely dissolved in the water, then combine this yeast water with the rest of the water. Next, add the sugar and the whole wheat flour. Mix this either by hand or with a whisk in a bowl or container until it is very smooth and no dry flour remains. Choose a container that is much bigger than this mixture, it will grow! Let this mixture hang out in a warm (not hot!) area of your kitchen for 3 hours. Wait until it doubles in volume and becomes very bubbly on top.
Once your mixture is fermented, whisk in the salt, olive oil and baking soda. Next, you've got options! You can either
- Refrigerate this mixture immediately and cook the crumpets tomorrow morning.
- Let this mixture hang out in that warm area again for another two hours and cook them today.
I'm a big fan of not having tons of work to do in the morning, especially if I'm making breakfast for guests. So if you make this batter the evening prior, you'll wake up and look like a rockstar for having this ready for your guests! You can also make them in the morning and serve them in the afternoon as a snack, or with dinner, or whatever.
Now that your batter is ready and you're probably dying of hunger, let's make the crumpets! Place a skillet with a small amount of vegetable oil or clarified butter over medium-low heat. Coat the inside of a some ring molds (pick whatever size you'd like, the size of the ring will be the size of the crumpet) with non-stick spray. Place the rings in the skillet with the oil and once heated, place a medium-sized scoop of batter inside the ring mold. Depending on the size of your pan and the size of your ring molds you can cook more than one crumpet at a time. The batter should go about one third to halfway up the ring mold. Remember, it has yeast and will rise! Keep this on medium low heat until golden brown on the bottom. The sides should be set at this point, you can check by looking at the edges of the batter inside the mold, they should appear dry and be coming away from the sides of the mold. Using a towel or oven mitt, remove the ring mold. Flip the crumpet over and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on the bottom. Conversely, you can make these free-form crumpets and not use a ring mold at all. Simply heat the skillet like normal with oil or butter in the pan, then place a small dollop of batter in the pan. Once golden brown, flip it and cook until golden brown on the other side. These crumpets will not be as pretty nor as tall as the ones you would use a ring mold for, but they will taste just as good!
You can test for overall doneness by pressing on the top and sides of the crumpet, it should spring back and not keep your finger indentation. That's it! You did it! Now open it up and spread some butter and jam on it and rejoice!