Saturday, 28 January 2012

Wholemeal Crumpets


  350g strong bread flour,  1/2 tsp sugar, 400ml lukewarm water, 200ml lukewarm milk/buttermilk 

Serves: 12 preparation: 1 1/2 hours

If you had asked me as a child what my favourite breakfast was, I would have said crumpets without a doubt. Some of my fondest memories are toasting them over a fire with my Nana and eating them piping hot, slathered with butter. As a teenager my brother and I liked to melt cheese on them, or even chocolate and if you've never spread them with chilli and baked them with an egg on top, well you just haven't lived! Last Saturday I was pretty horrified to see James Martin make some "quick" crumpets on Saturday Kitchen. Now crumpets are supposed to be holey and you only achieve this texture by allowing the batter to rise for an hour and form yeasty bubbles - these bubbles bust when cooking and leave you with the holes. These crumpets are PERFECT toasted with my lavender jam but I'm not going to lie to you - they don't look as pretty as those made with white flour which I'm trying to eat less of at the moment which is why I'm using wholemeal in this instance.

1) Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl and whisk in the warm water.

2) Gently warm the milk and whisk in. The mixture should have formed a fairly robust batter quite quickly but ensure it is whisked perfectly smooth.

3) Cover the dish with a warm, damp tea towel and leave it to prove somewhere warm for an hour. You want it to look like this...

4) Grease your ring *ahem* well and set in a frying pan or on a griddle to warm to a medium heat. Give the batter a stir as they're heating for about a minute.

5) Fill the rings with no more than 3-4 tablespoons of batter and cook for about 5 minutes. Touch the surface of the crumpet (carefully...) and if it feels relatively dry it's time to flip it over for 1 more minute.

You can eat the crumpets immediately from the griddle, but personally I prefer to allow them to cool on a rack and then to toast them. I make these in this batch size and then freeze the ones I don't want to eat right away.

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