Crumpets

I love crumpets - especially with butter & golden syrup, always have & probably always will. My family love them too. For our family it is easy to go down to the supermarket & buy a packet of wheat based crumpets. I had never made them before as I haven't needed to but for years it has been at the back of my mind to try & make some gluten free crumpets. Having said that this is probably the hardest recipe I have had to develop. You see my family were comparing my gluten free attempts with commercial wheat based crumpets that we like. My family wanted a certain sponginess & holes in my crumpets. 

Okay so 10 attempts later & plenty of "nah it's too cake like" or "it's not quite right yet" I decided I better go back to basics & make some wheat based ones. They were worse than some of my gluten free attempts (I used ordinary wheat flour & not bread flour). So another 6 attempts later (+ a couple more just to be sure) and I have ended up with what I consider to be a cross between a crumpet & a pikelet (or as my husband described them "home made crumpets"). I had wanted to call them Crumplets but, as I found out, that word means something else entirely (& it is definitely not appropriate).

A question you are probably asking is - Why was it hard to make crumpets? There are a number of reasons & most of them relate to our expectations of a good crumpet: 1) A crumpet dough/batter needs to be runny to allow formation of the holes - they are an absolute necessity, 2) Crumpets are eaten hot - how else is the butter going to melt, 3) The crumpet needs to be slightly spongy to distinguish it from being bread/muffin/cake. 

To make a runny batter out of Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour requires a lot of water, essentially too much to result in a crumpet that will not collapse and one that can be eaten hot (If you are unfamiliar with some of the idiosyncrasies of Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour refer to the Information Sections Water and Holes & Glug). Adding maize starch to the mix will "dry" it out a little while making the batter slightly more runny & decreasing the likelihood of the crumpet collapsing. YAH! But it will decrease the sponginess of the crumpet. Adding potato starch will help keep the crumpet spongy & also make the batter more runny but it will also increase the possibility of the crumpet collapsing. So to make these gluten free crumpets the relative amounts of Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour, maize starch & potato starch need to be just right.          

But what is the perfect gluten free crumpet for you? I don't know. I have developed this crumpet recipe according to my familys tastes. Do my family enjoy eating these - you betcha. The remaining wheat based ones in the fridge were forgotten & eventually thrown out.

You will need to use crumpet/egg rings. 

This recipe will make 8 - 10 crumpets.

 

Ingredients

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Yeast*

100 g Warm water

50 g Potato starch

50 g Maize starch

110 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

150 g Milk

1 tsp Bicarb of soda

1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt

50 g Water

 

For a yeast free version add 2 tsp vinegar to the milk.

The starches - My family like this mix best but yours may not. So to make the crumpet less "cakey" increase the amount of potato starch. To make the crumpet less "spongy" increase the amount of maize starch. Remember to keep the amount of total starch at 100 g. 

Bicarb of soda - I have used bicarb & baking powder for making crumpets, these raising agents are essential for making good holes. Bicarb tends to work best & will give you a crumpet with a brown side (photo above). If using baking powder the resulting crumpets will have pale sides (photo at the end of the recipe). 

 

Methods

Warm water is ~1/4 to 1/3 of boiling water with the remaining cold water (tap). Whether you use 1/4 or 1/3 will depend on how cold your tap water is. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Pre-incubate the yeast at room temperature for approximately 5 - 8 mins in 100 g of warm water containing the sugar. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar & disperse the yeast. This gives the yeast a readily available food source & they can "revive" in a relatively undisturbed environment. After the allocated time the surface of the yeast mixture should be slightly frothy. This indicates the yeast are viable. 

If the yeast mixture has a frothy top or you can see bubbles proceed with crumpet making.

Thermomix

Place the pre-incubated yeast, milk, starches & Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour in the TM bowl. 

Mix @ 37 C for 2.5 mins at speed 4.

Ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If not, scrape down the sides and briefly mix again.

Proof in the TM bowl for 30 - 45 mins. 

Stab blender/Food processor

Put the pre-incubated yeast, milk, starches & Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour into a suitable bowl.

Blend/process until the mixture is uniform.

Cover the bowl, put it somewhere warm & allow the mix to proof for 30 - 45 mins.

All methods

Grease the crumpet rings.

Mix the bicarb, salt & water in a cup. Add this to the proofing dough & mix to combine. It is now ready to use.

Put a heavy based non-stick frypan over medium heat. You don't want it too hot or the bottom of the crumpet will burn but you don't want it too cold either as there wont be many bubbles forming.

If this is the first time making them put one crumpet ring in the frypan. Pour the dough into the ring & fill to ~2/3. Doing one crumpet first will give you an idea of whether you need to increase or decrease the heat.

Cook the crumpet in the ring for ~8 mins. At this stage the crumpet; should have some bubbles on the top, should have come away from the ring and the top will not have set. Prick the top of the crumpet with a fork to help holes forming - they are underneath. Continue to cook this way for another 2 mins.

Take off the crumpet ring. Flip the crumpet over if you want to brown the top or leave it if you don't. Cook for another 2 mins. 

Remove from the heat & allow to cool ~5 mins before cutting open. If the crumpet is not burnt on the bottom or undercooked proceed with cooking the rest of the crumpets. If they are not right adjust the heat. 

If it's not the first time put the crumpet rings in the frypan & fill them to 2/3s etc.

Keep the first batch of crumpets warm while waiting for the second batch to cook. If they have cooled down too much briefly warm them up in the microwave or toaster.

Serve with your favourite crumpet toppings.

Simply enjoy!