Crumpets are soft, spongy English griddle cakes that are served for afternoon tea or breakfast, most commonly with butter and jam. Bicarbonate of soda is added to the mixture shortly before cooking and this creates the characteristic holes on the crumpets' surface.
250ml (1 cup) warm milk
2½ tsp caster sugar
375ml (1½ cups) lukewarm water
10g (3 tsp) dried yeast
450g (3 cups) plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Butter and berry jam, to serve
1. Combine the warm milk, sugar and 250ml (1 cup) of the lukewarm water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle over the yeast, then set aside for 7-8 minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the flour and salt and use a wooden spoon or the stand mixer's paddle attachment to beat for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until the mixture is well risen and bubbly.
3. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the remaining lukewarm water, then stir the mixture into the batter. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over low heat and place 3-4 greased 10cm egg rings in the pan (this will depend on the size of your pan). Spoon about 80 ml (⅓ cup) crumpet batter into each ring. Cook the crumpets for 8-10 minutes or until they have risen, the bases are deep golden and the tops are dry to touch, with a few small holes.
5. Remove the rings, turn the crumpets and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until the tops are light golden. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and keep warm in the preheated oven while cooking the remaining crumpets. Wash, dry and grease the rings before cooking each batch. Serve the crumpets warm, with butter and jam, if desired.