I found this recipe for crumpets in a cookbook called the Ultimate Bread and Baking Book by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake. It was in the sale section of the bookstore with all the other mediocre cookbooks that they were trying to get rid of. But this one was a great find. They have some excellent recipes that I use regularly, this being one of them. The best thing about crumpets is letting the butter melt into the holes on top to pool up inside the crumpet! Serve these warm with butter and jam and some sweet creamy tea.
As for the crumpet rings, a friend of mine had her mother send some for me from England. If you can’t find crumpet rings locally you can also use English muffin rings or egg rings which are usually always available in gourmet kitchen stores.
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 Cups lukewarm water
3 2/3 Cups white flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (if you don’t have cream of tartar the recipe will still work without it)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 Cup lukewarm milk
Whisk the yeast and sugar into the lukewarm water and let foam. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and cream of tartar. Add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and beat to make a thick smooth batter (this will be thinner than dough, but thicker than batter). Let the mixture sit, covered, for an hour or until it rises and then falls. Add the salt and beat the batter again, then let it rest for 15 minutes, covered. Dissolve the baking soda in the lukewarm milk and then gently mix it into the batter.
Heat an ungreased griddle over low heat. Grease your crumpet rings and place a couple of them on the griddle. Pour the batter into the crumpet ring just below half full. If the batter is too thin and runs out of the rings, add more flour to the mixture. If the batter is too thick, the crumpets will not form holes on top and you need to add more milk to the mixture.
Cook the crumpets for about 5-7 minutes or until they are mostly dry on top and then, using a pot holder, remove the rings and flip the crumpets over. If they stick to the rings, run a small knife around the inside of the rings. Cook for another couple of minutes and remove from the griddle. Grease your crumpet rings well after each use.