Melissa from Baking a Sweet Life is hosting Bread Baking Day #10, and the theme is "breakfast breads". In Australia, our traditional breakfasts derived from English cuisines from the late 1700's, when this country was settled with mainly convicts from "The Mother Country". I know one of my ancestors was a convict, relocated to Tasmania, for stealing a sheep. Naughty Rufus!! Way back in those days of hardship, food was simple, with flour being one of the main staples, even though it was, more than often, weevil infested and acrid. Damper was a common staple among the poor, and whilst that is a treat to make in the camp oven when you're out camping (obviously), a more civilised and lady-like breakfast is a piping hot crumpet, with butter and honey oozing through the holes onto your plate, to be mopped up with the last piece of remaining crumpet.
According to Wikipdia "Crumpets, also known as pieclets, are generally circular though long and square varieties also exist. They have a distinctive flat top covered in small pores and a resilient, slightly spongy texture. Crumpets alone are bland and generally eaten hot with a topping (usually butter). Other popular accompaniments include cheese when melted on top of the crumpet, jam, Marmite, marmalade, honey, peanut butter, cheese spread, golden syrup, and maple syrup."
The term "crumpet" has also been given the slang meaning of reference to an attractive woman, however in this society of equal rights and feminism, that term is not bandied about in public as much now.
Although the preparation was time consuming, the end result was well worth the wait. Never again will I grab a packet of supermarket crumpets, which I now liken to discs of fluffy cardboard. The only bit o' crumpet to be had in this house are these babies.
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 40 minutes
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
- 250ml (1 cup) warm milk
- 250ml (1 cup) warm water
- 450g (3 cups) plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp bread improver
- 1 tsp salt
- 250ml (1 cup) water, extra
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Vegetable oil, to grease
- Butter, to serve
- Honey, to serve
- Combine the sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the warm milk and water and stir until yeast dissolves. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
- Combine the flour, bread improver and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Combine extra water and bicarbonate of soda in a jug. Use an electric beater to beat the flour mixture for 1 minute or until mixture deflates. Gradually add the water mixture, beating well between additions, until well combined and smooth. Cover batter with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
- Brush a large non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil to lightly grease. Brush six 7.5cm-diameter non-stick egg rings with oil to lightly grease. Place egg rings in frying pan over medium-low heat. Pour 60ml (1/4 cup) of batter into each ring. Cook for 7 minutes or until large bubbles come to the surface, the base is golden and the top is set. Use an egg lifter to turn and cook for a further 1 minute or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and remove egg rings. Set crumpets aside. Repeat, in 4 more batches, with remaining batter, greasing and reheating the pan and egg rings with oil between each batch. Serve crumpets with butter and honey.
Notes & tips
- Prep: 30 mins (+ 10 mins standing, 1 hour proving & 30 mins resting time). Keep the heat of the pan low, and don't be tempted to turn the crumpets until the top looks quite dry.
Australian Good Taste - June 2003, Page 156
Thanks to Zorra from Kochtopf for creating and overseeing this wonderful event.