Our "Proper" Crumpets (above).
The crumpet batter, replete with air bubbles forming. Put into the greased (spray oil) crumpet rings in 1/3 cup measures.
The batter immediately begins to form bubbles when it hits the low temperature skillet. Let them be so the movement doesn't cause the forming bubbles to collapse.
These homemade rings are simply an aluminum tube cut into
short pieces and finished to eliminate any burrs
or rough edges; the aluminum heats up nicely
and helps brown the sides of the crumpet.
Once dull on the top, and the bubbles are fixed, turn them and let the tops cook until LIGHTLY golden (or leave unturned). Pop them into a oven (on a baking sheet) at 350 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes and remove to cooling rack.
For the complete experience, prepare some quality English tea!
This recipe comes from Robin who relentlessly pursued the perfect English crumpet. After trying five different recipes, she finally settled on this one which came from England. It produced the best quality and highest number of bubbles by far.
The trick to perfect crumpets is using two leavenings (yeast and baking soda), a skillet or griddle with a thick bottom (to ensure even, consistent heat), the perfect medium-low/low heat, and leaving them alone in the pan until the bubbles are firmly in place and the tops are completely dull. A final finish in the oven ensures their doneness, but retains their proper texture and moistness.
The key to getting lots of bubble pockets is to wait a while after mixing in the baking powder to let the leavening develop fully, not filling the rings too full (allows the top bubbles to set more) and to add water to the batter each time before filling the rings. When the batter sits, it thickens and must be thinned a bit to ensure the proper bubbles in the next round of cooking. If you fail to add a bit of water each time, you'll notice the number and quality of holes diminishes with each successive pan full. When you are ready to turn them, be sure they are "done" -- otherwise the fragile holes will collapse and will fill in leaving you with a crumpet that looks more like an English Muffin.
TIP: Make at least one tester crumpet to ensure your pan is just hot enough to gently brown the bottom while slowly "baking" the crumpet in the skillet. And be patient -- if you don't permit them to cool before biting into them or tearing them apart, they'll not yet have formed the "spring" necessary. Trust us ... it's worth the wait!
Enjoy with REAL butter and homemade raspberry freezer jam or fig jam. Delicious!
Add water/yeast/sugar mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth (much like a thick pancake batter). Cover with tea towel or cling film and set aside in a warm area, free of drafts for about an hour. The batter will grow and become bubbly; the batter will almost double in size.
After about an hour, preheat skillet or griddle medium temperature and place rings onto griddle/pan. Spray inside of ring and pan inside the ring with non-stick cooking spray.
Add 1/3 cup batter to fill approximately 1/2" (this batter will rise; too thick and the bubbles cannot properly form).
When bubbles begin to form, lower heat and continue to cool slowly for approximately ten minutes or until the tops are no longer shiny and the crumpet is fully cooked. Remove the rings with rubber tipped tongs.
Remove from the skillet, move to a baking sheet and put into 350 degree oven for five to ten minutes to finish. Cool on a wire rack.
When cold, toast and serve with butter. These may be frozen.
The crumpets will continue to cook, and the tops will become dull and the bubbles fixed in place. At that point, you can lift off the rings with a pair of rubber tipped tongs.
Below you can see the very lightly browned top and well formed
holes that are ready to welcome-in some real butter!With properly formed holes, the butter seeps right into the chambers and almost disappears from the top.
Finally! The moment we had been waiting for!
Topped with freshly made Raspberry jam (freezer jam, never the cooked variety!),
this is a food memory that you will not soon forget.
Ready with English tea and a proper freshly-made crumpet,
we three sisters sit down to enjoy another episode of Downton Abbey.
All is well in the world.