(makes 8 using 3 ½ inch crumpet rings)
1 teaspoon dried yeast
150g strong white flour
100g plain white flour
200ml whole milk mixed with 100 ml water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50 ml water
Butter for cooking and greasing the crumpet rings
First make the dough. Put the dough ingredients in a large bowl (a 10 inch Mason-type or glass bowl should be sufficient; the yeast first and then the flour, milk/water, sugar, and the salt. Mix well, and then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the warm for between 1½ to 2 hours until well risen and frothy. Remove the clingfilm, and lightly stir. Next, add the bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 50 ml of water and stir well. Cover with the clingfilm and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
While the mixture is rising, brush the griddle plate with butter and start to heat, allowing the butter to melt. Prepare the crumpet rings by greasing the inside with butter and then place them on the griddle. I find that butter is better than using an oil as the crumpets are less likely to stick to the rings. The crumpet mixture can now be spooned into the rings. Cooking two batches of four at a time is plenty. Fill the ring with the crumpet mixture to a depth of about 2/3 inch. During cooking the mixture will rise. Gently cook the crumpets and slide them about on the griddle. Cooking them slowly and moving them around will stop their base burning or sticking. Gradually they will dry out, more bubbles will form, and they will shrink away slighly from the side of the ring. They will be ready to remove from the griddle when what looks like the last (slight ‘skin’) of the uncooked mixture disappears. The (nearly cooked) crumpets can now be removed from the griddle. The crumpets can be then removed from the (hot) rings by gently tapping the base of the ring on a board, or by squeezing around the sides of the ring until they drop out. Regrease the rings and griddle and cook the remaining crumpet mixture.
Once ‘cooked’, the crumpets can then be toasted by placing under a grill, or in a toaster. Alternatively, any left over (vey unlikely!) can be frozen and savoured later.