Today I learned two things in quick succession from this news article in the Graun:
- There is currently a CO2 shortage in the UK
- This is affecting the production of a number of food items, due to CO2 being required for use in their packaging, not least of which is crumpets!
Oh no! What will we do without crumpets to buy?
Well, folks, I’m here to reassure you that for those of us able to bake, it is possible to make your own crumpets at home from basic (mostly) store cupboard ingredients!
It is a bit of a faff due to needing to leave the batter to prove, and you still need to toast them after the initial cook, but they are yummy, and well worth the effort.
A couple of notes before I type out the recipe:
- This is taken straight from ‘Favourite Home Baking Recipes‘, where all recipes are given in imperial measures only (& please note, if any US people read this, a UK pint has 20 fl oz, not 16!)
- Although I have made crumpets from this recipe before, I must have adapted it in some way because I know I’ve never worked with fresh yeast. I can’t remember quite what I did, and it will require a fair bit of playing to get an adapted recipe which I’m happy enough about consistent results to share
- Just from the fact it starts off with 1 lb of flour, I have a feeling this will make quite a few. I probably halved it before, as I would have been cooking for 2
8oz plain flour
8oz strong white flour
2 tsp salt
1 pint milk & water, mixed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 oz fresh yeast
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 fl oz warm water
- Sift flours and salt into large bowl & make well in centre
- Place the milk & water mixture, the oil, and the sugar in a pan & gently heat until warm but not hot (to an appropriate temperature to activate the yeast)
- Take 1/4 of this liquid and mix with the yeast, then pour this into the well in the bowl of dry ingredients, pouring the rest of the liquid in afterwards.
- Beat well until smooth & elastic (approx. 5 minutes*).
- Cover bowl with a clean tea towel & leave to rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hours until frothy & about to collapse.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water & stir into the batter in the bowl.
- Cover & leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Lightly grease a griddle or heavy frying pan and place on a medium heat with metal rings or cutters inside**
- Pour batter into each ring, about 1/2 inch deep, and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, until the tops are dry with a mass of tiny holes.
- Remove rings/cutters & turn the crumpets over. Cook for approx. 2 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from pan/griddle & repeat with the rest of the batter until it is all used.
- Toast crumpets on both sides & spread liberally with butter so that it saturates the warm crumpet.
- Clean your fingers &, if in our house, give the plate to Socks or Rascal to clean
*The recipe doesn’t say whether this timing is for beating by hand or with an electric whisk. I know I would have used an electric whisk, so just go by appearance
**This is to get them to keep their shape & not run into each other during cooking
Ta-da! Hopefully I’ll be back in a few days with a version adapted for using dried yeast (since that’s much easier to store!)