Thanks to my father’s occupation my sisters and I had access to very good libraries with amazing collection of books – both fiction and non-fiction. They introduced us to Enid Blytons, P.L.Travers, Munshi Premchand and R.K.Narayan as children, James Herriot, Agatha Christie, Perry Mason, Alistair Mclean, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Hadley Chase, P.G.Wodehouse and Charles Dickens as tweens, and later on as teenagers and as young adults introduced us to authors like Erma Bombeck, Bill Cosby, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer and Ken Follet to name a few. Why am I ranting about books (not even cook books!) here? Because, as a child it was my interest in food that made me read books (I loved the midnight parties in St. Clares and Malory Towers, and the Crumpets that Joan and Michael love, in Mary Poppins).
Though my mother would dish out the most amazing array of Indian fare, the ones mentioned in these books always seemed tastier and more fun. The cakes and buns we read about used to be a treat as they had to be purchased from bakeries. In fact some of the items mentioned were not found even now in most bakeries, and these were the ones that I craved for more. Now that I have access to those very recipes I do not want my children to miss out on home baked bread and cakes.
Well, we owe today’s recipe to me being reminded of ‘Eggs, beans and Crumpets’ by P.G.Wodehouse, the ‘Crumpet Man’ in ‘Mary Poppins Opens the Door’ by P.L.Travers, and also that crumpets always seemed to sound so tasty.
I have tried one of Valli’s recipes earlier and it turned out good so I decided to follow her recipe for crumpets which in turn was from Jessie’s blog ‘Baking Blondie‘. I have followed the recipe to the tee and the result was just great. Not surprising since the recipe is originally from Rosy Levy Berenbaum’s Bread Bible.
(Source: Based on The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum as seen in ‘more than burnt toast’)
All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp.
Soy milk powder – 1 tbsp.
Instant yeast – 1 tsp.
Sugar – 1/2 tsp.
Salt – 1/2 tsp.
Warm water, divided – 3/4 plus 2 tbsp.
Baking soda – 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Vegan butter – 1 tsp. (substitued with 1/2 tsp. thick coconut cream optionally)
Mix the batter. In a large mixer bowl beat together the flour, soy milk powder, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the 3/4 cup of water and, gradually beat on med. for about 5 min. until completely smooth.
Let the batter rise. Scrape the dough into into a container with a one quart rising capacity. With a piece of tape mark on the side where doubled the height would be. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Add the baking soda and water and let dough rise again. In a small bowl mix together the baking soda and remaining 2 tbs of water.
Stir into the batter and allow to rise again until almost doubled, about 30 min. The batter will be filled with bubbles.
Heat a skillet, griddle or frying pan over low until a drop of water sizzles when sprinkled.
Brush the pan, and the insides of the crumpet rings lightly with melted butter or oil. Set the rings in the pan. I used big cookie rings. Use a ladle to spoon, or pour the batter into the rings, filling 2/3 full.
The batter will rise to the top during cooking (forming many holes on the surface). Cook the crumpets for 10 min on one side, or until they are nicely browned underneath and have lost their dull shine on top.
Turn the crumpets and continue to cook until the bottoms are browned. Cool the crumpets. Remove the crumpets and move to a wire rack. Cool completely.
They can be stored over night in a paper bag, or frozen well wrapped for up to 3 months. Thaw before toasting.
I used big cookie cutters instead of crumpet rings, which were as good. You may just pour the batter like pancakes if you do not have cutters, as I did with the last one.
I also found that the crumpets tasted a little sticky when I had them immediately.
They tasted incredible after a few hours – so please have them only after they have completely cooled down. You may warm them a little or toast them later. My kids loved and relished every bit of it, and this recipe, is now a keeper. It is ideal for school short breaks, tea time and breakfast. Goes well with butter, jam and clotted cream, and a nice hot mug of coffee.
Over time I became vegan and have changed the recipe accordingly.