Thursday, 8 June 2017

Crumpets (Wheat- and Egg Free)

Readers of Sweetie Pie Bakes Stuff, I present to you a project I have always thought about since I was very young: crumpets!


When I was much younger, I was given a book called The Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley, which I'm sure I've mentioned many times in the past. In this book, is a recipe for crumpets. Now, if one is a half-English person living in Ireland, there are some creature comforts of England that are kinda misunderstood here: one of which is crumpets. They go in and out of the supermarkets every so often, but don't have much staying power. I don't think the locals quite understand them.


Not only are regular crumpets widely unavailable, wheat- or gluten free ones are unheard of all together. You can buy them at great expense in Marks and Spencer, but it turns out that making them at home is much cheaper, even if spelt flour has risen to an eye-watering €3.80 per kilogram (ouch!). But to make them at home you need a specific piece of kit: a crumpet ring.


Recently, as I mentioned in my last post, I was in England with my companion to collect a car from his friend. While I was there, I went looking in a local kitchen supply shop and found just the thing I was looking for: crumpet rings! I bought two in a pack for about £4.50, which isn't too bad. And on my return home, I couldn't wait to use them!


I did a little research online for the best recipe, and many recipes advise to add some bicarbonate of soda to help a) the production of the little holes, and b) neutralise some of the acidifying nature of yeast. I don't know if there's any science behind this, but I trusted the advice. As such, this recipe is basically the same one as found in the Afternoon Tea book, with the addition of bicarb.

INGREDIMENTS

  • 8 ounces (225 grammes) white spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) salt
  • One quarter-ounce (7 gramme) sachet of dry active yeast
  • Half a UK pint (285 millilitres) milk, lukewarm
  • 2 fluid ounces (60 millilitres) water
  • ½ teaspoon (3 millilitres) bicarbonate of soda

METHOD
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix 2 ounces (55 grammes) of the flour, the salt, the sugar, the yeast, and half the milk until is is a well combined, thin mixture. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes until all the little yeast particles dissolve.
  • Mix in all the remaining ingredients, using a balloon whisk, until you get something like a thin pancake mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to one hour, until doubled and bubbly.
  • Once it has risen, grease a heavy frying pan and two to three crumpet rings. Preheat the pan over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place the rings onto the pan, and fill each one halfway full, about half an inch (1 centimetre), being careful to keep all the lovely bubbles in the mixture. Cook until the tops are pitted and dry, about 6 minutes. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, turn down the heat.
  • One the tops are pitted, dry, and nicely full of holes, flip over and cook for a further minute. Serve immediately with butter, or jam, and any left overs can be cooled on a wire rack and stored for three days.
Bibliography: Mackley, L. The Book of Afternoon Tea. HP Trade. July 1992

No blogs on this day in 2014 or 2016

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