When you travel to a place like Pike Place Market in Seattle, you morph into a foodie if you weren’t one already. Not only is there the famous fish market where they gleefully torment tourists and toss huge fish around, there are the smaller famous places like Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt, Pike Place Chowder, Storyville Coffee and The Crumpet Shop.
Yes, crumpets. We had thought of them as a tasteless part of some stuffy British tea ritual. But as The Crumpet Shop and its long line proved, you can pretty much put anything on a crumpet. Ricotta, lemon curd, walnuts, honey, pesto, hazelnut spread, smoked salmon, marionberry jam (a northwestern blackberry, not to be confused with “Marion Barry,” the former D.C. mayor).
Somewhere between an English muffin and a pancake, crumpets are cooked in a frying pan or griddle pan. You pour the crumpet mixture into crumpet rings. While they cook, the yeast in the batter bursts, opening channels or holes in the top; that gives the crumpets their typical appearance.
Since our Seattle-Portland trip, crumpets have been on my mind. I bought the rings from Amazon – they are $6.91 now, and we paid almost $20 for them. Snowed in for a couple of days, I finally made a batch last night. We put goat cheese, blueberry honey and walnuts on them.
The crumpet rings notwithstanding, they cost me about 9 cents apiece to make. Here is the recipe I borrowed from BudgetBytes.com. I like this recipe because of the whole wheat flour; the recipe makes 18 crumpets, and they are only about 90 calories each before you load them up.
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp (or one ¼ oz. envelope) instant yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- In a small saucepan, combine the water and milk. Heat over medium-low, while stirring occasionally, until the temperature is like warm bath water.
- Meanwhile, stir together the flour (whole wheat and all-purpose), yeast, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the melted butter and warm milk mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer or by hand for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl loosely and allow it to rise for one hour, or until double in size.
- Coat a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over a medium flame. Coat the inside of 3-inch diameter metal cookie cutters or biscuit cutters with non-stick spray. Place the metal rings in the skillet and scoop ¼ to ⅓ cup of the batter into the rings. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and the bubbles rising up through the center of the batter no longer fill back with uncooked batter. Using tongs, gently shake the cookie cutters loose from the crumpets to remove them, flip the crumpets, and let them cook on the second side until golden brown.
- Repeat the process until all of the crumpet batter has been used. Coat the inside of the round cookie cutters with non-stick spray or oil as needed to keep the crumpets from sticking.