posted by Polar Bear 06-28-100 1:03 PM
1 cup water (divided)
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 cups unbleached flour (divided)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbl. potato starch
1-1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
4 Tbl. clarified butter or peanut oil (as needed, for cooking the crumpets)
The night before, proof yeast with sugar in 1/4 cup warm water in a 2 qt. measuring cup (or bowl with a spout); stir in remaining 3/4 cup water and 1 cup flour. Let stand overnight covered in a warm place.
Next morning, beat in egg and buttermilk; stir in potato starch, salt and remaining 2 cups flour; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Let stand covered until doubled and very bubbly, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Without stirring, pour batter (3 to 4 Tbl. each) into well greased egg rings on a greased cast iron griddle (or skillet). Nonstick may be used, but cast iron works significantly better. Actually, if you have carbon steel blini pans, I found them to be best of all. A little slower (since I only have two), but easier to handle. Also, they were a breeze to grease between batches (use a bristle brush, so it won’t melt).
Cook over medium-low heat until golden-brown and top surface just dries out, 5 to 7 minutes. Mist uncooked side with water (I use a plant sprayer); flip and mist cooked side. Cook until lightly brown on other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert onto a fine-meshed rack and mist the now-cooked raw side again; let cool. Repeat in batches with remaining batter.
To serve, toast until crisp and heated through. Serve with butter, clotted cream and/or fruit jam. Or use as a base for Eggs Benedict. Makes about 16. If convenient, may be frozen and thawed as needed.
VARIATION: For pikelets, simply pour batter onto the griddle without rings. To get as regular a shape as possible, slowly rotate the spout 90 degrees while pouring. In addition to being less pretty, these may spread a bit more than crumpets, so reduce cooking time by a minute or so if necessary.
VARIATION II: For one style of english muffin – actually, more often made with a stiffer dough and worked by hand – use twice as much batter for each. Use blini pans or muffin rings (available in some cookware stores), as egg rings aren’t deep enough. Cook about 8 minutes on the first side, 6 minutes on the second. Mist the cooked sides very lightly; as they need to stay strong enough to permit the muffins to be fork split or sliced just around the outside edge (not all the way through) and pulled apart for toasting.
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