Being an American, at least in my case, means wondering about the lifestyles of our elegant cousins overseas—you know, the British. Whenever an American does an impression of a Briton, they typically involve some mention of “tea and croompets!” and overexaggerate the accent with pursed lips. This makes me feel like a jerk for even mentioning, but I’m sure the British have some classic impressions of a Southern drawl that I am just dying to hear. More interesting would be an impression of an accent-neutral American reading a news report or talking about their SUV.
So when choos & chews featured some particularly lovely looking crumpets, I thought I’d give them a try.
Immediately, I ran into a problem: crumpet rings. Apparently this is something common in other areas, but not readily available in New England. I found some egg rings that would do the trick, but for $2 apiece. And then, brilliance struck: cookie cutters. Multi-functional, cheap, and way more fun than an egg ring.
But first, the batter.
Just add yeast.
. . . and wait awhile until it becomes a bubbly, thick batter.
Okay, and NOW the fun begins. Because the batter is so thick, the rings are really there just to keep them from spreading too much. Butter in your shapes is pivotal.
As with all things, however, there’s a catch: the more intricate shapes really just don’t cut it. Some worked out great, but it seemed to be a coincidence. I’m sad my little stegosaurus didn’t work out (he’s the one to the right there).
Simpler shapes worked out better.
Fortunately some of my favourites stayed intact enough for a crumpet diorama.
This is the childlike story being illustrated: a car fell in a ditch and an airplane flew by, so the pilot called a tow truck but they were all picking up other cars, so then an elephant walked by and said he would pull the car out. The airplane stayed in case they needed any more help.
I liked the car the best.
Speaking from experience, these are FANTASTIC with some homemade butter. And also, just a smidge of apricot preserves, which I have recently come to embrace.
brought to me by choos & chews, but adjusted for American audiences
1.25 c flour
1/2 c milk
1 tsp instant yeast (referred to as bread machine yeast at my grocery store)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp water, room temperature, divided
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter
Mix up the flour, milk, yeast, sugar and salt. Add 1 tbsp water; beat slowly for a bit, then on medium until totally smooth. Cover and let sit for an hour.
Dissolve the baking soda with the 2 tbsp water and add to batter, stirring to combine. Put the batter aside, again, for a half hour. At this juncture, it will be poofy and bubbly and thick.
Butter your crumpet rings/cookie cutters WELL, especially if you are using shapier cookie cutters. Heat pan to medium, grease with butter, place the cookie cutters in and spread batter into them about 2/3 of the way in. Don’t waste too much time trying to account for the little details of the cookie cutters, as those things are cooking and you want to be able to flip them all about the same time.
Once the bottom is browned, pop the crumpets out of their shapes and flip. Continue to cook until the new bottom is browned and cool on a rack.
Toast. Butter. Top. Eat with tea and a nod across the pond.