Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, chocolate galore, but when you tire of cacao, remember that B-in-B (breakfast in bed) is both whimsical and winning. Crumpets are totally non-heart-healthy, but as Julia Child used to say, a little butter never hurt anyone. Just make these treats on a very occasional basis – though they have so much fat, they freeze well, too. Giving you the option of crumpets dripping with butter, once a month. Now that’s a Julia breakfast!
1 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115º F)
2 tsps. sugar
2/3 cup warm milk (same temp as water)
4 Tblsp. butter, melted (to make this slightly more animal-fat-free, use 2 Tblsp butter and 2 Tblsp oil)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Crumpets need 3-inch diameter rings – sometimes called rings for English muffins, which are made from a more bread-y dough – and a griddle, to bake. You can get the rings online (even Amazon carries them) or in a posh cooking implement store, or you can make your own by getting cans of, for example, water chestnuts, and removing both ends. (Most tuna tins won’t work, they tend to be manufactured with rounded bottoms for easy stacking.) You really only need 4 rings, since you’ll wipe them with a paper towel after each crumpet, but 8 rings make it slightly easier if you stir up crumpets in bulk.
1. In a mixing bowl, place the warm water and the sugar. Stir a few seconds, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Add the warm milk, eggs, and only 2 teaspoons of the melted butter. Mix well.
3. Add flour and salt, beat until smooth – dough will still be very wet. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm enclosed place (a microwave oven is perfect) for about 45 minutes.
4. Place griddle over low heat, a bit cooler than for pancakes. Brush griddle and the inside of each ring with some of the remaining melted butter. Place rings on griddle; heat over low heat 1 minute.
5. Pour 3 Tablespoons of batter into each ring. If batter gets halfway up the ring, there’s too much. If you need to noodge batter up to the inside perimeter, use the back of a teaspoon.
6. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the top appears dry. Remove rings by lifting up – they may just slip off (careful, they’re hot!), or you can cut carefully around each inside circumference if you need to. Flip crumpets over, cook 1-2 minutes more until the second side is golden brown.
7. Wipe the inside of each ring with a bit of paper towel, and re-butter before using again.
8. Serve crumpets warm, or let cool on a wire rack and toast before serving – with butter and jam, if desired. Or Nutella . . . honey . . . chèvre . . . even smoked salmon. What’s not to love? ♥