After so long without being able to do what I love I thought for a while about what I'd like to make and settled on crumpets. They're so easy, yet delicious and very comforting.
I use a Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall recipe which can also be used to make pikelets (flat, pancake shaped crumpets) which are great if you don't have crumpet rings.
Basically you whisk all of the ingredients together and leave them somewhere warm until yeast does it's job and the mixture gets nice and bubbly. Alternatively if you want them for breakfast you can make the mixture the night before and put it in the fridge over night. By morning it will be ready to cook.
If you want to make crumpets heat up a frying pan and place some greased crumpet rings in the pan. Carefully pour a spoonful of mixture into each. If the mixture runs under the rings it is too thin so whisk in a little more flour. They are ready to turn over when bubbles have formed on the top and the batter is pretty much cooked. If bubbles don't form the mixture is too thick so add a little water to the batter before cooking the next one.
To make pikelets whisk in about 50g more flour and simply spoon the batter into a hot pan and cook in the same way you would cook pancakes.
Here is one of the crumpets
And here is a pikelet
Hugely satisfying to make. Makes 12.
450g plain white flour
350ml warm milk
350ml warm water (approximately)
5g powdered dried yeast
1 tsp baking powder
A little sunflower or vegetable oil
In a bowl, whisk the flour, milk, water and yeast into a rather runny batter the consistency of single cream. Cover with cling-film and leave for an hour until really bubbly (or three to four hours, if need be).
Heat a heavy-based frying pan or flat griddle over a medium-high heat. Whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter. Lightly grease the crumpet rings and pan. Put one ring in the pan, fill to just below the top – the batter should stay in the ring and lots of holes should appear on the surface after a minute or two. (If it dribbles out underneath, it is too thin, so whisk a little more flour into your batter mix. If lots of holes don't form, it's too thick, so whisk in some water.) Assuming your test crumpet is OK, after five minutes or so, when the surface is just set, flip it over, ring and all. (If the cooked base seems too dark, turn down the heat.) Cook for two to three minutes, until golden on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter in batches. Butter and eat at once, or cool on a wire rack for toasting later.
A pikelet variation If you don't have rings, whisk an extra 50g flour into the batter, to stiffen it, dollop spoonfuls into a greased, warmed pan and cook for a couple of minutes a side.