Emelia Jackson’s cookbook First, Cream the Butter and Sugar is the kitchen companion every aspiring home baker needs. Her homemade crumpet recipe is one of our favorites from her book.
I had never had a home-made crumpet until Jock Zonfrillo made them on MasterChef Australia. Intrigued, I went home that night and made them straight away. Home-made crumpets, eaten while still warm, are a work of art. Serve them smothered in so much butter and honey that it drips down your chin as you eat them.
Ingredients (makes 8)
300 ml (10½ fl oz) lukewarm full-cream milk
5 g (3/16 oz) instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
180 g (6 oz) bread flour
Pinch of fine salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Combine 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the warm milk in a bowl with the yeast and sugar. Set aside until the yeast has activated and bubbles appear in the milk, around 5–7 minutes.
Add the remaining warm milk, flour, salt and baking powder and whisk until smooth. This is more of a batter than a dough, so don’t be alarmed by how runny it is. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes (see below for my favourite proving options) or until the mixture is foamy (it won’t double in volume like traditional doughs).
The trick to making perfect crumpets is really in the cooking. I start on a high heat to establish the bubbles and then reduce it to low to allow the crumpet to cook through without burning the base. It does take some practice to figure out what works best.
Place a greased frying pan over high heat. Spray the insides of eight 7 cm (2¾ inch) ring moulds with oil and place them in the hot pan. Gently spoon the crumpet batter into the moulds, being careful not to deflate too much of the air in the batter, and immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook for 4–5 minutes or until bubbles appear in the crumpets and the tops are dry – much like when you cook a pancake.
Remove the moulds, flip the crumpets and cook for 30–60 seconds or until the tops are a really light golden brown. Remove from the pan. Serve warm.