How to make crumpets

It’s winter – even if the blue sky is telling you otherwise – and at winter your fancy turns to comfort food and cups of tea. And what can be better comfort food than toasty warm crumpets with melting butter and jam – or honey?

Cumulus Inc in Melbourne does amazing homemade crumpets. They serve them with homemade ricotta and rooftop honey. It’s a real brekky treat if I’m ever in Melbourne in the winter.

I’ve never tried making them at home for myself though – until now – and it’s absolutely worth it. In fact, they were so good that I started fantasising about having a BNB somewhere in the country where I’d get up at 5 am to make homemade crumpets that would be served with fruit butter or jams I’d also bottled myself from the bounty that would have miraculously grown in the kitchen garden or potager that somehow produced enough produce to have me contemplating my own River Cottage type enterprise. Yes, they were that good.

I suspect, however, that the closest I’ll get to that particular fantasy will be when I write it into a novel. Which is, of course, where the best dreams belong.

Before I give you the recipe, a couple of hints. These need to cook slowly in order to let the bubbles do their thing. Also, I just used egg rings to shape them and although it gave us a smaller crumpet, they were easier to cook, control and flip.

What you need

  • 1 1/2 cups milk – I used full-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
  • 200ml water – not cold, not warm – that in-between temperature.

What you do with it

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan until it is just warm. If you have it too hot it will kill the yeast. Pour it into a clean bowl and stir in the sugar and the yeast. As you let it stand it will start to bubble a bit – t make take about 10 mins to get to this stage.
  • Sift the flour and salt into another bowl and make a well in the centre – which you will, of course, pour the liquid gradually into. Beat until smooth – you can do this by hand if you want, but electric beaters make the whole thing so much smoother.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand in a warm-ish place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. It should double in volume and be full of airy bubbles. To help it along – if your kitchen is cold, a warm tea towel over the top will help.
  • Mix the bicarb with the water and get your beaters out again to combine it with the batter. This seems like a weird thing to do but go with me.
  • Heat a heavy-based frypan over medium heat and lightly grease with butter. Also, grease whatever metal rings you’re using as moulds and put them in the pan.
  • Depending on the size of the rings, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into each.

  • Cook over a very low heat for about 5 minutes. You’ll see bubbles rise to the surface and a skin form across the top. You can now loosen the moulds (or take them away completely if they just come loose) and flip the crumpets to cook the other side – they won’t need long.
  • Remove them and let them rest on a wire rack while you cook the rest.

These can be eaten fresh, but I cut them in half and pop them in the toaster.