I'm still having trouble making crumpets.
No matter what I try, high heat or low, my crumpets turn out seriously underdone in the middle. I'm getting the little pores on top from gas bubbles bursting, which a proper crumpet is supposed to have.
I'm cooking them in an ordinary skillet with no lid. Even with ridiculously long cooking times (15+ minutes) the insides are invariably undercooked and squishy, about the consistency of mashed potatoes. The taste of this raw dough/batter is quite unappetizing. I've watched several YouTube videos to no avail.
I had the bright idea to try some kind of sandwich maker/waffle iron-type device which would heat both the top and bottom at the same time. Can anyone recommend such a device? It seems the cheaper units lack any kind of temperature control. I imagine this would be a desirable feature to have.
A standard crumpet recipe is quite simple, so I doubt that's the problem. There are many crumpet recipes on line and they are all very similar. Usually crumpets are cooked on one side only in an open skillet with a little oil or butter.
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C water (or milk)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 packet instant dry yeast
Combine ingredients and let batter rise for 1 hour
Try half cup liquid, see what happens, go from there. Enjoy!
No input on a cooker but do have another thought....
I'm don't know where you are located, but I know from other topics that flour qualities (amount of strength, hydration requirements and more) can vary quite a bit, depending on what country you are in. If a recipe is written by someone in the UK and you are in the US, "your mileage may vary" as it were. Not all AP flour is created equal - perhaps there is something in that worth experimenting with?
Good luck! May you find the solution, whatever it is.
hydration using water. Pancakes using cups can be even more tricky but one generalization applies...
if the middles are too soft, too much liquid. If the pancakes are too tough, add more liquid.
A recipe with one cup of water or say 240g weight divided by one cup of flour at say 125g and multiplied by 100 gives 192% hydration. From what I gather, crumpet batter should be closer to 100% hydration give or take 10%.
Follow the advice of reducing the water to half that brings it more in line to 100% hydration. Make a pancake and see if the center comes out better. If it is still wet in the middle add a spoonful of flour and reduce the water more the next time. You can always add a tablespoon of water at a time stirring gently and try another pancake to see the changes. Then adjust the recipe with pen and ink.
Cow's Milk is about 10% less liquid than water because milk contains about 10% milk solids and depending on the type, fat will vary from 0 to 3.6%. That the recipe askes for water or milk without the obvious change makes the recipe questionable in my mind but it is a cup recipe and results will vary between heavy flour scoopers or light scoopers. One just has to experiment up or down with the liquids. And this can change if switching flours.
You will figure this out, I'm sure of it. :)
Here is an English professional crumpet recipe from the 1930s ((ex Manna, Walter Banfield). I haven't tried it, but have every confidence in it.
There is another page to the recipe with process instructions. If you are interested, let me know and I will transcribe it.
Provided suitable flour is used, these honeycomby, labyrinthine structures are fairly simple to make. The idea that crumpets are difficult to make 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.
A four-hour " bread-making flour is suitable for a 1.5 to 2 hours' crumpet batter and hence medium-strength, straight-run flours are suitable for such a batter.
There is some truth in the idea that the more the batter is beaten when originally compounded, the more holes will result in the finished crumpet. Certainly the batter requires attacking with vivacious turbulence.
The following ingredients form a suitable batter or sponge :
Straight-run flour (warm and aged) 4.5lbs
Water (at 100 degs. F.) 2 qts (UK)
Dry milk 3 oz
Fresh Yeast 2oz
This batter sponge should be covered and placed in a warm, cosy situation for 1.5 to 1.75 hours. Usually the ideal crumpet results if the batter is taken to the second stage when the batter is on the verge of collapsing. There is plenty of warning, if one observes the signs. The bubbly stage is the first indication that the vital moment is not far away. Soon fissures are noticed forming in the centre of the batter and this is the commencement of the " dropping " stage. It is at this juncture that the following “soda water” is added and well distributed throughout the sponge
Warm water 1pt UK
Bicarbonate of soda 1/8 oz
The batter now requires to be left 10 mins, to recover from the handling.
A very hot, shiny plate is required, so shiny that greasing is not required. Hoops are also required, and these usually require a slight grease every three or four times of use. The hoops should not be placed on the plate prematurely, otherwise they get very dry and the crumpet tends to stick unduly.
Here is the Warburton crumpet recipe.
I get 133.33% hydration
= 1 C flour + 0.7 C water
I used a thermometer to set the skillet temperature to just under 400° F.
Exactly as stated above with vivacious turbulence. How deep should I pour them? I don't have crumpet rings but I got some heart cookie cutters about 2 cm tall. Would they work? So, now to let the yeast exhaust itself. The dough stirs thinner that what I think it should be. Austrian wheat ap flour W480 glatt.
I have some mini spring form rings, a bit big. Stupid tuna cans have round pressed bottoms these days. I remember a post a while back using doubled up aluminum foil to shape rings. Which brings up another question, how does one fill the ring? Pouring thinly tends to pop bubbles and JOY of Cooking recommends using a scoop like a small measuring cup. I have some handy deep spoons that might prove useful for gentle transfer of bubbly batter. What did you try so far? My batter is just about doubled at 1 1/2 hrs. 25°C in the kitchen today. After 2 hr rise and a flattish top...
Cooked them up on high medium heat and they all rose in the pan but the best textured on was the first one into the pan with the poured thickness of a wooden spoon. The last one in the pan was a small heart and the thickest one which came out heavy with too much, almost mashed potato crumb. I turned down the heat after 5 min. fearing burning but that was a mistake. I used a 1/3 measuring cup for a scoop. I did not stir the bater before scooping but could tell that with every scoop into the batter, the next crumpet rose less. The pause between the first and second batch helped the first crumpet of that batch but progressively the following crumpets lost their ability to rise as high as the previous crumpet. The final scraping of the bowl and scoop yielded the flatest blob of a pancake ever. I eat low salt and found them a little too salty for me, 2g salt would be enough instead of 3g. The batter thickened as it aged and as I scooped could see some gluten formation making blobs. Pancakes were slow to brown which means I could have left the pan on medium high or "8” on my induction range. I like the temp between "7" and "8" for crepes. My stove goes up to 9 and then 9+ and 9++ for fast almost instant super heating.
I suspect the tricks with this recipe are in getting 1) the right thickness or height in the rings (not too high or too low) and 2) the method of filling the rings with batter in order to be consistent.
I'm not done with the recipe yet. I want all the crumpets to come out the same height and with the same color.
A typical crumpet ring is 1 1/2" high and it is usually recommended to fill them 1/2 way, so 3/4" or 19 mm thickness.
Crumpets are cooked on one side only. The uncooked side is left pale and should have tiny pores in it from burst gas bubbles. Some people cook the tops briefly to give that side some color, but I do not. Doing so may help the insides finish cooking.
You could probably get away with letting the batter rise for 1/2 - 1 hour. I must have low sodium as well so I use salt substitute (potassium chloride).
Joy of cooking changes the English muffin recipe a bit for crumpets turning it more into a heavy batter with less flour and fat plus changing out water for milk. Yesterday, the thicker poured batter...half inch high...didn't cook thru well, so I suspect thinner is better for that hydration. The bland taste leaves a bit to be desired. Hubby tested two bites and left them. More caramel, perhaps brown cane sugar or malt instead of white sugar. The recipe is small so it isn't any trouble to play around. I might also sub in some roasted nut flour or lemon zest or drop or two of vanilla. The recipe doesn't really need rings. I got the nice bubbly top surface on the first two crumpets in the pan.
So small rings for high crumpets, meaning crowd the rings on the pan to keep the sides from setting and use med temp. That will be the next test (with a few drops of vanilla.) and shorten the rise time.
Are there any instructions about stirring the batter during the bulking stage? After two hours when the batter was falling, the outside edge, about one forth an inch in, next to the large glass measuring cup was fine foamy with bubbles. I was tempted to gently stir but didn't. (Would this be the point to add disolved baking soda if it were part of the recipe?)
Crumpets are supposed to be fairly bland. If you watch some of the many YouTube videos, people mainly top them with butter, honey, jam and other preserves. That's where people get fancy with the flavor. One video even suggests vegemite. A naked crumpet is not supposed to be full of flavor like a sugar cookie or a chocolate chip cookie. That's why people don't trick out the recipe as you are planning to do.
One idea I had was to make a "California crumpet" with chopped scallions in the batter, but I have not made this yet.
What do you think of this quote?
"...No, they do not rise during the cooking. You pour a good half inch of batter into the ring. If it leaks out the batter is too thin (add more flour and whisk) and if holes do not appear, whisk in some extra liquid. The bubbles form giving the crumpet texture when cooking the first side. You can speed up the process by popping bubbles as they form with a skewer. When the holes stop filling with batter, the crumpets are cooked and you can carefully turn them over."
I make crumpets often (using the King Arthur recipe made with sourdough discard) and I find they come about best after about 30 min on the stove, with the stove on low. I put them on first, then make coffee etc. Best of luck!
The other day...I was digging in my cookbook shelf looking for: a hundred recipies for potatoes. Before finding it, another small cookbook fell in my face, a German published Quick breads. Schnelle Brote by Kristiane Müller-Urban. Third printing 2010.
The book recipes are for batter loaves but the batter could easily fit into the Arena of Crumpets. They all contain about 300g flour, a spoon of baking powder and yeast like the above crumpet recipes, many the same percentages of salt and sugar (exception for the sweet ones) and easy made recipes designed to be mixed vigorously and poured into a loaf pan for aprox. 15 min rise once and then bake in a moderate 200° C oven with some steam. To be enjoyed warm or the same day.
Wow! What a variety! Starts off with basic buttermilch batter, a beer batter, one with vanilla and sourdough. Savory, sweet and you name it. The first one that caught my eye from the over 50 recipes was "White bread with candied walnuts." The 66 page book has color pictures of every loaf partially cut to show the crumb. It's aimed at beginners and very explanatory with lots of tips. I put the book down drooling and forgot about my potatoes.
You might try the recipe in this old but great video from Delia Smith, which is at 22 minutes or so here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvtgqDkpMJw Delia's recipes always work.
Thanks for an interesting video - I enjoyed watching it (and the scone making), but unfortunately Delia has ended up with what are known as "blind crumpets" - ie no holes, so a fail, I'm afraid.
Her batter looks to be too thick.
This sourdough crumpets recipe worked for me. In a pan or on a griddle (preferable due to its size). I do flip mine which is not the "correct thing" I suppose but mine are a bit thick.
Recipe sourdough crumpets
Need crumpet rings (or silicone egg rings)
INGREDIENTS (makes 10 crumpets)
225g Strong Bread Flour (or AP + 2 tsp gluten)
150g Sourdough Starter
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda