Here's the deal: english muffins are not crumpets and crumpets are not english muffins. It's science. But people don't really know this, because grocery store shelves in America are devoid of any crumpets. Which is devastating. For one, they are lighter and chewier, and they have tiny holes in them that allows your butter to sink all the way down.
I wish as a society we had that one thing that we could eat with our tea or coffee, at any time of day, or when we're sad, like they do in England. I think cake is our equivalent but at a certain point it's like dude, lay off the cake. And you certainly can't just "go pop 'round to the shop" to get cake as easily as you can crumpets. Is life easier in England??
Anyway. I saw that Food 52 had a recipe for crumpets, and so, we made them last Saturday morning because it's much more fun to pretend you're on Downton Abbey when crumpets are involved.
If you're getting really proper you'll eat yours strictly with butter on top. But if you're me, you'll slather yours with a ridiculous amount of peanut butter and honey.
What you'll need: a chef's ring, an hour and a half to let the dough rise, an English husband to sing along to Sam Smith really really loudly (I was going to say that part was optional but it's not, really).
from Food 52
Makes 10-12 crumpets
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup water (1/2 cup cold + 1/4 cup boiling)
1 teaspoon sugar - or honey
1/4 oz. package active dry yeast
1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbl. boiling water
Neutral grease, for rings and pan
1. Stir together the milk, water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit everything sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture, then beat the batter together with a wooden spoon until it’s completely smooth, about 5 minutes. (The mixture will be similar in texture to a thick pancake batter or a sourdough starter.)
3. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours. The batter will look bubbly.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the baking powder, baking soda, and water. Immediately pour this into the large bowl of batter and stir until it’s completely combined. Set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place.
5. Meanwhile, use a pastry brush to grease a few chef rings with vegetable oil. Lightly oil a large non-stick frying pan and place the ring molds in the pan, leaving some space between them. (I fit two 3-inch and two 2-inch rings into my pan.) Heat over a medium-low flame.
6. Scoop the batter into the rings in the pan. (I used about 1/4 cup of batter for the 3-inch rings and a little less for the 2-inch rings.) Cook the batter in the rings for 8 to 15 minutes, until the surface of the batter looks opaque and dry with quite a few holes in it. The batter may start pulling away from the sides of the rings.
7. Use a butter knife to loosen the crumpets from the rings. Remove the rings from the pan using kitchen tongs.
8. Flip the crumpets using a spatula and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan to a wire rack.
Serve hot from the pan or leave them to cool on the wire rack then reheat in a toaster.