These take a long time to prepare and cook, but they are well worth the effort if you happen to have an afternoon free (on a Royal Wedding bank holiday, say...). Patience pays off-they are larger than shop bought ones and have a softer, more squidgy texture. Delicious spread with a little butter and a cup of tea.
Makes 10- 15 crumpets
-225g plain flour
-225g strong plain flour
-300ml milk, mixed with
-2 tbsp sunflower oil
-1 tsp sugar
-2tsp dried yeast
-1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
-100ml warm water
You will need at least two crumpet rings, 7.5 - 10cm wide x 2.5cm. The more you have the quicker it is to cook these. Four would be ideal.
1. Preheat the oven to 50C. Sift the flours and salt into a large, warm bowl, cover and warm in the oven for 10 minutes.
2. Gently warm the milk (mixed with water), oil, and sugar then stir in the yeast. The mixture needs to be luke warm - it should not be too hot or the yeast won't work. When the mixture has become frothy, remove the flour from the oven and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir well. Beat for 5 minutes (I did this in a mixer). Then cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
3. Mix the bicarb with the warm water and stir into the batter. Beat for a further two minutes then leave for another hour.
4. Grease a large heavy based frying pan and the crumpet rings with sunflower oil. Put the pan on a medium heat and place the rings in the pan.
Ladel in the batter, filling the rings to just over half full. Leave for around 10 minutes- air will rise to the surface and leave holes. When the crumpet is cooked through the surface will be dry and covered with holes.
Carefully remove them from the rings (you may need the help of a knife), flip, and cook for a further 2 minutes on the other side.
5. Best served whilst hot, but they can be kept and toasted.