Home-made Crumpet Recipe for a Tea Time Treat
Noun: Chiefly British
1. A round soft unsweetened bread resembling a muffin, cooked on a griddle or the like, and often toasted.
2. British Slang: An attractive woman.
Origin: Anglo-Saxon 1350–1400; short for crumpetcake, curled cake, equivalent to Middle English crompid (past participle of crumpen, variant of crampen. which is to bend or curl)
It snowed at the weekend, large feathery flakes started to fall at about Midnight on Saturday, just as I was making my way to bed and they obviously continued to fall throughout the night, as I awoke at six o’clock in the morning to a strange muffled silence and a shimmering bright light that was streaming through the window. My first thought was for my hens, the Coronation Chickens as I call them. They have an old stone outbuilding as their hen hut and I was worried that the snow had crept up past the doorstep…….so I shot down the garden, crunching through virgin snow with a fire place shovel in my hand and a kettle of warm water. But all was fine, I opened their door and waited for them to stream out as they normally do. But these clever little ladies were having none of it and they viewed the white stuff with growing suspicion and sat on the door step! It took a twitter conversation with a fellow hen owning friend and several hours of cajoling before they finally left via a special straw strewn path! That is my speckled hen Deirdre you can see above, making her first steps on to snow, which, she had never seen before, and then the delightful trio of Rita, Mavis and Deirdre making their way out of the run via the straw path below!
What does snowy weather mean? Baking and oodles of comfort food, all eaten with lashings of hot tea. As I lit the Aga and pondered on what to have for breakfast, I thought what better than home-made crumpets, and it would give me a chance to use my lovely old vintage griddle too……..a gift from my husband last year. I have made crumpets before and they are so MUCH better than shop bought crumpets, as well as being such a rewarding and comforting snack for breakfast, tea or supper.
Crumpets, pikelets, Scotch pancakes and English muffins: all traditional British tea-time treats but what’s the difference? That’s a good question. They’re all cooked on a griddle (girdle) or bakestone (a heavy-based frying-pan can be used as an alternative) but crumpets and muffins are both yeast-based. To make crumpets, you need egg rings (available from kitchen or hardware shops) or, if you can get them, special crumpet rings, and they need to be well-greased. More about crumpets: crumpets are flattened round breads which are cooked on a griddle/girdle or in a skillet. They are always associated with traditional English society and culture, and are sometimes confused with English muffins. Although the crumpet and the English muffin share many characteristics, they are in fact very different. Classic crumpets have a smooth round bottom which is dark brown and a top that is covered with small holes. They are served fresh from the griddle or toasted, and can be topped with cheese, bacon, honey, jam or fruit curds – although I always think butter is the traditional crumpet topping. Crumpets are never split, unlike English muffins, and they have a slightly spongy texture which absorbs butter remarkably well. The imagery of toasting crumpets over a fire is often associated with cosy rainy days inside old fashioned parlours, and is famous in British fiction, especially in Enid Blyton books. It is believed that the English muffin may have been invented by someone who was trying to replicate the crumpet, which explains the similarities between the two. Crumpets are simply brilliant fireside fodder for a cold winters day and I love them with all sorts of toppings as well as just simply buttered in the hot buttered crumpets sense! So without further ado, I bring you Crumpets! Easy to make and the ultimate in comfort snack food. See you later with MORE winter warmers, Karen.