Crumpets, 1841

Crumpets! Crumpets! Three cheers for crumpets!

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Crumpets are the epitome of British class.  Pride and Prejudice manners, God Save the Queen, fish and chips, and…crumpets!  Crumpets are like a fancy, homemade, amped-up-delicious version of the English Muffin.

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crumpets

Two years ago, I was lucky/ridiculous enough to spend our school’s  January term in London crashing on my friend’s couch and spending my nights “studying” the local music scene.

In case you have never traveled to a large city, London is ridiculously expensive.  And pounds?  They cost about twice as much as dollars.

Thankfully, Tesco to the rescue.  Picture a lower-class, smaller Kroger crossed with a corner bodega.  And then class it down a notch.

The few things we always stocked up on during our Tesco treks were pasta, spaghetti sauce, PG tips (“Perfectly Great!”) tea, and crumpets.  These crumpets came wrapped in plastic and were squishy and unappetizing.  But when toasted and buttered they became much, much more than the sum of their parts.

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So I have long pondered the infinite possibilities of a homemade crumpet.  And with the long, empty days of Winter Break stretching before me, it seemed to be destiny.

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Thank you to Uncle Peter for last year’s Christmas present, and to Alisa for taking pictures.

A few of my favorite quotes from this slightly antiquated book:

“The batter requires attacking with vivacious turbulence” –The Baker’s ABC, 1927

“The idea that crumpets are difficult is not uncommon because if flour unsuitable for the process is used grotesque, unfair creations result.  That is, one either makes good crumpets or very bad ones”

and my personal favorite, though I may tend to disagree…

“You don’t get tired of crumpets, but you don’t find inspiration in them” -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903

Crumpets

I had to translate a few instructions such as “beat in as much fine flour as will make them rather thicker than a common batter pudding,” but overall crumpets are very simple and totally worth it for a delicious breakfast.  Best eaten fresh, but they will last for a few days.  Make sure to toast and butter.

Makes 20 4-inch crumpets

1. Beat two eggs

2. Warm three cups of milk and one cup of water over the stove until “blood temperature,” aka warm

3. Beat quickly into eggs so as not to curdle them, add in a tablespoon of yeast and whisk.  Let sit five minutes until foamy.

4. Beat in about four cups of flour, or until it’s a bit thicker than a pancake batter.  Let sit 45 minutes-1 hour.

5. Heat up a skillet to medium-high and butter.  Drop a large spoonful of batter onto the skillet and let sit until cooked through and bubbles are on the top.  If you want a more english muffin-like crumpet, flip after 2 minutes.