Count your stack and be sure to keep your eye on these golden goodies, as they are sure to get even the best of friends squabbling! These porous doughy sponges will soak up lashings of butter and syrup, leaving pools on your plate and sticky rivers trickling down your arm.
Preparation time: 1 hour 45 minutes + 1 hour 30 minutes rising time
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 12 crumpets
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
300 g (1012/ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
400 ml (14 fl oz) milk
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
butter, for cooking
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cover and set aside to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
In a small bowl, mix together the bicarbonate of soda and 11/2 teaspoons warm water, then stir into the crumpet batter. Cover, and set aside until the mixture starts to bubble, about 30 minutes.
Grease four egg rings thoroughly with butter (if you don’t have egg rings, don’t worry, the crumpets will just turn out slightly thinner and irregular in shape). Heat a little butter in a frying pan over medium–low heat. Place the egg rings in the pan and pour about 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) of the batter into each ring (it should come about three-quarters of the way up the side of the ring) — you may need to tip the pan slightly to fill the rings evenly.
Cook the crumpets, in batches, for 6–8 minutes, or until the top is almost set and bubbling. Remove the rings, flip, and cook for about 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the pan, lift off the egg rings and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 12 crumpets in total.
Serve the crumpets hot with a large knob of butter and your favourite syrup. For a savoury twist, top crumpets with tomato and cheese and pop under a preheated griller (broiler) until the cheese melts.