I very rarely advocate the use of specialist equipment in my recipes, but there is simply no way to make a crumpet without the use of an egg poaching ring. I retired mine when I went vegan, and had to properly search through my kitchen to find them again, but it was worth it. I picked mine up for £1 from a well known hardware and home store, and they have lasted a good few years so far, so I consider them a worthy investment. You could make a giant crumpet in a frying pan, I suppose, but it would be mighty ambitious. They take a little practise and patience, both of which I sorely lack, and I spent an entire day perfecting this recipe, which is virtually unheard of in my slapdash, quickfire kitchen, so enjoy them. There is an ongoing debate about whether they are best eaten for dinner, supper, breakfast, lunch, or tea – let me know when you have yours in the comments below!
Makes 10 at 6p each
300g plain flour, 13p (65p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics)
2 tbsp dried active yeast, 14p (£1.10/100g)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 4p (90p/100g)
300ml milk (I used soya), 27p (90p/1l, Sainsburys)
200ml warm water
A generous pinch of salt and pepper, 1p
Grab a large mixing bowl and weigh your flour into it. Add the yeast and bicarbonate of soda, and a little salt and pepper, and mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Mix together the water and milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour base, and add the wet ingredients. Stir well to form a loose batter. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
Gently heat a frying pan and place the egg poaching rings into it. Add a dollop of oil to each one, and turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting.
Dollop three tablespoons of the mixture into each poaching ring and leave them to cook for 12 minutes. It is agonisingly slow, but so beautiful and satisfying to watch, I consider it particularly therapeutic to just gaze at them and watch the bubbles rise and burst, rise, and gently burst. You’ll be tempted to turn them over; don’t yet, as you will lose the beautiful holes. When the last of the batter has solidified on the top, flip them over and crank up the heat for the last minute. Set to one side and repeat as required.
I serve mine with lashings of butter (vegan, obviously) and marmite, but you are free to smother them in whatever you wish, within reason.
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