Trumpeting my crumpets!

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!) in my food blog?
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).

My mother, an accomplished cook, would dish out the most amazing array of Indian fare, but we were very much attracted to the ones mentioned in these books (The grass is greener on the other side - even if...well does it matter?). 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 are not found even now in most bakeries, and these are the ones that I craved for more. Now thanks to internet, and mixing of world cultures, I have access to those very recipes , and I do not want my children to miss out on home baked bread and cakes.

An aside for those interested:
A few days back Bhavani left a comment informing me of a monthly blog event called 'The cook books club'. Every month a different host will select a book (Not a cook book), and bloggers or non-bloggers have to cook something from the book. If stories tempt your taste buds, do participate in the event - it is definitely one of a kind.

Back on track:
This post is not an entry for the event, as I have not read this month's book selection. However, the event reminded me 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 tasty (Yes! taste is not always related to smell!).

It was these train of thoughts that led me to search the net for crumpet recipes. Google led me to these recipes
1. BBC food
2. The Foppish baker
3. Bellini Valli's 'More than Burnt Toast'.

I have tried one of Valli's recipes earlier and found it yummy (She has an amazing collection of mouth watering recipes - hop on the link and enjoy drooling!), so I decided to follow her recipe for crumpets which in turn was from Jessie's blog 'Baking Blondie'(Awesome 15yr. old!). 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: The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum)

1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbs dry milk
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 plus 2 tbs water divided
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter

Mix the batter. In a large mixer bowl beat together the flour, dry milk, 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.

Preheat the griddle or frying pan. If using an electric griddle, preheat to 275 degrees. If using a skillet,heat over low until a drop of water sizzles when added.

Fry the crumpets.
Brush the pan, and the insides of the crumpet rings lightly with melted butter.Set the rings in the pan.

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.

My notes:
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!

The crumpets are off to this month's Bread Baking Day (BBD#10), hosted by Melissa of 'Baking a sweet life'- and what a sweet life it is! When she announced that all we needed to do was bake a bread with a leavening agent, I was a little confused - probably because of the wide choice :). Crumpets fall in the category of quick breads and English breakfasts.

As always I am glad I am able to participate. While you are here do check out Zorra of 1x umruhren bitte. She started the Bread baking tradition, bringing together amateurs and experts from all over the world. I am so proud to be a part of this group! Thanks, Zorra!

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