Lots and lots to cover in this episode, the least of all being crumpets and my current obsession with them. Non-bread related topics covered by Hamish and include the bullsh*t of “constant success”, the importance of highly personal photography, customer service, photographing the homeless and – as ever – telling you to do what makes you happy and forget about all the trolls telling you otherwise.
We’re not hypersensitive apparently, we’re an audio support system for the infirm. In case you want to skip it, the all-important crumpet segment runs from about 3m 30s to 9m 30s and I’ve included both the recipe and method at the foot of this page.
As always, please leave your suggestions for next month’s topics in the comment’s section below or over on the HPP Facebook group.
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Here’s the crumpet recipe.
- 400ml milk (whole, not skimmed, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon of dried yeast (not the “quick variety”).
- 1 teaspoon of caster sugar or normal sugar ground down with a pestle and mortar.
- 300g “strong” or high gluten white flour (you can try gluten free).
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda / baking soda (they’re the same thing).
- Vegetable oil for your pan.
- Oodles of butter (salted).
- Warm the milk in a pan to ~40c. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the milk and add 100ml of tepid/warm water. Leave the pan off the heat in a warm place for around 15 minutes, or until frothy.
- Sift your flour, bicarbonate of soda and one teaspoon of fine salt into a large bowl/pan. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk/yeast mixture.
- Using a whisk or wooden spoon, slowly combine the mixture working from the centre out until it reaches the consistency of double cream. This should take about 5 minutes, or half that if you use a mixer. Add warm/tepid water as need (just a splash will do).
- Cover the mixture with a damp tea towel and set aside for 45 minutes or until bubbles start to form on the surface.
- With your crumpet batter ready, grease up your egg rings with a little oil and prepare a large frying pan or iron skillet and place on a medium to high heat.
- IMPORTANT: your pan needs to have a flat bottom. If not, your batter will seep out of the bottom rings and you might as well be making pancakes.
- Once everything is hot, spoon four tablespoons of the batter into each ring – it should fill about half to three-quarters of the height of each ring.
- Cook for 5 minutes, or until small bubbles appear and the surface starts to dry out.
- Once the bubbles have burst use a set of tongs to lift off the rings and flip over the crumpets. Cook for a further minute, then remove to a plate with a layer of kitchen towel or place on a baking rack.
Repeat steps 5-9 for the remaining batter.
- The underside of your crumpets should be a dark brown colour. If they are too dark, reduce your heat slightly and adjust cooking time by ~30 seconds – you’re going to need to find what works for you.
- Make sure the egg rings are clean and re-greased for each new batch.
- If your crumpet batter does not produce bubbles, your yeast might be dead. Use it anyway and buy more.
- However they come out, serve warm with butter.
- If you’re planning on refrigerating them for another day, they will last for at least a week and should be lightly toasted on both sides before being served (you’ll ideally want to bring them to room temp before toasting.
As much of a joke as this may have started out as, I honestly enjoyed making them from scratch and suggest you give it a shot. For everyone who doesn’t have the option of nipping to the shops to buy some, this little taste of England will hopefully do.
~ EM (and Hamish)
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