Good & Proper Crumpets
With Easter just around the corner and the promise of long lazy (outdoor) brunches with friends, we thought it was about time we shared our favourite and most loved Good & Proper recipe, one that until now has been only available in our Good & Proper Book (Baking with Tea page 158).
A true labour of love, they don't actually feature tea, but having become somewhat of a Good & Proper staple, we couldn't resist sharing it with you. A good cup of tea is most definitely called for, but you know that.
Good & Proper Crumpets
Makes 8-10 crumpets
30g sourdough starter
110ml cold water
110g strong white flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
300ml whole milk
250ml hot water
200g plain flour
200g strong white flour
250ml cold water
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp fine sea salt
You will need to have a lively sourdough starter of your own for these crumpets. If you don’t have a sourdough starter, you may well be able to borrow a small amount from a friend that you can then add equal parts flour and water to to make into your own starter. If you want to start your own sourdough starter, simply search the internet for sourdough starter recipes and there will be page after page of recipes and how to’s. To keep your starter alive, remove half the starter each day and replace with the same weight in flour and water in a 50/50 ratio.
On the morning of your crumpet making day, mix 30g of your sourdough starter (from the half that you are discarding that day) with the water and strong white flour in a mixing bowl until smooth. Leave covered in a warm place for at least an hour and up to two hours. It should be bubbling and lively before you move onto the next stage.
When your levain is ready, measure out the sugar, milk and hot water in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add your levain and mix well. In separate bowl, measure out the flours then add into the batter, bit by bit, whisking all the time to avoid too many lumps. Intermittently scrape down sides and keep whisking until you have a nice smooth batter. Cover the batter with a clean cloth and then leave to prove for 45 minutes to an hour. A few bubbles should start to form on the top, if not give the batter a bit more time, checking again after another 15 minutes.
Once the batter is proved, mix together the salt, bicarb and cold water in a separate bowl. Stir to dissolve and then stir this through the batter. It should start to rise straight away. Cover the batter again and leave for a final 20 to 30 minute prove.
To cook the crumpets, you will need a metal mould to achieve a good shape. Feel free to use a circular or square ring depending on your preference. Grease the mould/s with sunflower oil and place in a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add one small ladleful (120ml) of batter to each mould. Cook for 12 mins without moving or turning. Keep an eye on the batter and note the air bubbles forming in the batter as it cooks. If it looks to be cooking too fast, reduce the heat. The crumpets are ready to be turned when the surface is full of bubbles and just set on top. At this point, take off the rings and flip the cumpets onto their face side to sear the face for about 10 seconds before moving them onto a cooling rack. Now re-grease the rings and repeat until all batter is used and you have a healthy pile of crumpets ready for cold butter and a cup of tea.
These crumpets can be frozen once cooked and defrosted and toasted when you want them - although we're doubtful they'll last that long. Enjoy.
Tag us in your creations @goodandpropertea using the hashtag #goodandpropercrumpets