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Tuesday 29 April 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Bacon Buttered Homemade Crumpets

Baking things like bread often fills me with dread – bread baking dread. You've got to wait for the yeast to come to life, then knead it, then wait for the oven, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait and usually it comes out not resembling bread, but a small hard stone. Crumpets, on the other hand, are much more straightforward. They aren't baked, but cooked on the top stove, meaning they don't take too long to cook and they don't need to be kneaded.

In fact the most difficult thing about making crumpets is deciding what to have on them. Bacon butter with maple syrup is, simply, the one.

Crumpets with Bacon Butter (makes 9)
Preparation Time: 45 mins inc. resting time 
Cooking Time: 8 mins
  • 130g strong white bread flour
  • 130g plain flour
  • 10g dried instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 260ml warm milk
  • 110ml warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
For the bacon butter:
  • 3 rashers of streaky bacon, diced 
  • 125g butter
Make it!

For the crumpets:
  1. Combine both flours and the yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the warm milk and pour into the flour. Beat the hell out of the batter for a few minutes until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place (or in the oven's lowest setting) for 20 mins.
  3. Mix the bicarb and salt in the warm water and beat into the rested batter. You should end up with batter that is the consistency of double cream (add more warm water if you need to). 
  4. Cover and leave for another 20 mins. Your batter should be frothy and bubbly after resting. 
  5. To cook, heat a small non stick pan or a large pan with cookie cutter or metal rings and add a little sunflower oil and get the pan nice and hot. Ladle in the mix and cook for about 8 minutes on one side only. Bubbles should rise to the surface. 
  6. Rest them on a tea-towel to cool, then stick in the toaster when you're ready to devour them. 
For the bacon butter:
  1. Fry the bacon until crispy, then leave to cool.
  2. Blitz the butter and bacon together in a food processor until it's all blended. You can use it straight away on the crumpets. Wrap the remaining in cling-film and keep it in the fridge, ready to use on the multitude of things benefitting from bacon butter: pasta, greens, risotto etc...

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