I had always wondered what a crumpet was, so I looked it up in British cookbook author, Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. It is a yeast griddle cake cooked in a ring. I was in a cooking store in Colonial Mill Mall in Keene NH and found some rings designated for eggs or pancakes. While normally round in shape, the maple leaf shaped ones were what caught my eye.
While I was there I also found a new spatula. I had been on the hunt for a suitable spatula and thought that I had found one in a grocery store a while ago, but after the second time using it, the coating came off on the pancakes. I suppose it might have been a chrome coating, but this thing was made in China so no telling what type of toxic waste was shedding into the food. My new one was made in the good old USA by Lamson and Goodnow company, the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the country, not too far away from here in Shelburne Falls MA., a wonderful place to visit by the way.
Delia states that while you can buy quite good crumpets (not around here), they are a fun thing to make while snowbound. I'm just rain bound in an early spring storm but I made crumpets anyway. They are not hard to make and tasted quite delicious with maple syrup and Cabot's extra sharp, Hunter's cheddar cheese from Vermont. Of course, we had tea with it.
Heat up 10 oz. milk with 2 oz. water to a warm to the touch temperature. Add 1 tsp. sugar and 1 tbs. yeast. Set aside for about 15 minutes.
Sift together 1 c. flour, and 1 tsp. salt. I used half white and half whole wheat, then I added just a bit more flour, since the mix seemed a bit thin, to keep the batter from running out from under the edge of the rings. Flours differ in the amount of moisture they will absorb.
Mix the yeast mixture and the flour mixture together and beat well to remove all the lumps. Cover with a tea towel and let set for 45 minutes in a warm place.
When ready to cook, melt some butter. Heat up the griddle on the stove to a low-to-medium heat. Grease the pan and the rings with butter and pour in batter to about 2/3 full.
You will see bubbles form and burst. Just about now is the time to remove the rings and turn the crumpets over. It takes about 2-4 minutes per side. You will quickly get the hang of this. Keep them warm while you continue to make more crumpets. Delia said that leftover crumpets are very good toasted. We didn't have any leftovers.