Complicated Crumpets

This is my entry for this month’s (well ok, last month’s) Breakfast Club. The theme was British, and I knew I wanted to make something bready to make up for last month’s failure to make the muffins I had planned.

I’ve always wanted to make crumpets, so I decided to give it a go. However, just for that extra bit of challenge factor, I decided I had to make Real Bread crumpets – no cheating by using bicarb here!

Not only that, I chose to make a rather complicated recipe indeed. It’s actually the ciabatta recipe from Andrew Whitley’s Bread Matters. I borrowed it from work and now I must have it!

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I doubled the recipe so I could make a couple of ciabatte as well. Basically, the recipe consists of a yeasted sponge, a rye sourdough, and contains three different types of flour. You make the sponge and refresh your sourdough the day before (18 hours according to the recipe, but I must admit I left it a bit late and only gave it about 12-14 hours. Luckily I had a really active sourdough). Then in the morning, you mix it all together, adding a bit more water to your crumpet mixture. Wait 1-2 hours, THEN you are finally ready to make your crumpets.

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The sponge

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A very active sourdough (who says I don’t take care of my starters!)

I used nonstick crumpet rings, which I started off buttering but soon found I didn’t need to. I started off putting far too much batter in the rings, which prevented bubbles forming. The batter also wasn’t spreading out enough in the rings. I ended up adding quite a bit more water.

Finally I ended up with something resembling a crumpet:

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I know it would have more holes if I had used bicarb, but I’m quite proud of them all the same. The recipe is far too complicated to write out here. If you are at all interested in baking bread then I strongly suggest you get Andrew Whitley’s book. Otherwise I suggest you follow Helen’s crumpet recipe here.

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5 thoughts on “Complicated Crumpets

  1. Mmm… I love crumpets and have often wondered how tricky they are to make.

    I have always had a massive cooking blind spot when it comes to anything “bready” that means I invariably eff it up. Probably will leave to the pros.

    Good stuff though!

  2. To get bread consistently right, it is an incredibly scientific process. Ingredients should be measured by weight, never volume. You have to use exactly the right flour. A thermometer comes in handy. And the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. There are so many different techniques for kneading for example. It’s all about understanding what happens to the dough as the gluten develops.

    Then there are the variable factors like the ambient temperature and humidity, your oven temperature, etc.

    Bread making really is a master craft and I have so much respect for professional bakers now. Really, the more I learn the more I want to give it up completely and leave it to the pros. But something keeps drawing me back… and I’m really looking forward to cutting into my first ciabatta today.

  3. Pingback: Ciabatta « fingers and toes

  4. Pingback: Ciabatta « fingers and toes

  5. Pingback: Breakfast Club « fingers and toes

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