English Crumpets

3 tablespoons warm water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 egg

Combine water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Heat milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter and salt in a saucepan over low heat just until warm. Add to yeast mixture. Add 1 cup flour to yeast mixture and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Beat in egg. Add remaining flour and beat until smooth. Cover batter with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Stir down batter and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat. Skim off foam and discard milky solids from bottom of saucepan. Brush bottom of a skillet with melted butter. Brush insides of four crumpet rings or 3-inch round cookie cutters with butter and place rings in skillet. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into each ring. Cook until batter begins to bubble on top and is lightly browned on bottom, about 2 minutes. Remove rings. Turn over. Cook until lightly browned on bottom and done in centers. Can be served warm or split and toasted before serving.

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