Sometimes I think I love crumpets a bit too much. I would often eat a whole pack in one sitting; I'd get home from work and put two of them in the toaster thinking 'I'll just have a small snack before making dinner', salivating whilst waiting for them to reach the perfect crunchiness. Before long, I'd finished a whole pack of 6. Crumpets are a vehicle for butter, seemingly becoming better and better with increasing amounts spread liberally on top. In this way it's easy to go through almost a whole pack of butter in a frighteningly short time.
So I stopped buying them. However, in recent weeks I've been exploring ways to use up left over sourdough starter, and home made crumpets turned out to be the perfect solution. They don't come out quite as bubbly and light as the shop-bought ones, but the flavour is better. And I've taken to slicing them in half before toasting them, to allow extra butter to be applied.
For this recipe you'll need a large, heavy-based pan and some crumpet rings.
- 100 g white sourdough starter
- 100 g strong white flour
- 100 g water
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- butter, for frying and greasing the crumpet rings
- more butter, for spreading on the crumpets
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl to create a wet batter, and leave to prove for 4 - 6 hours.
Grease the inside of the crumpet rings with butter. Place a wide, heavy-based pan over a low heat and add about a teaspoon of butter. Once it's melted, add the rings and divide the batter between them until each crumpet ring is about half full. Don't be tempted to overfill them – the batter will approximately double in height as it cooks. Leave on a low heat for 15 - 20 minutes.
Once there is only just no more raw batter visible on the top of the crumpets, turn them over and cook for a further minutes. Remove from the pan, remove the rings and allow to cook on a rack.
Once cool, cut the crumpets in half and toast. Spread liberally with good quality salted butter and enjoy.