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Quest for the Holey Pancake |

Crumpets and butter are a staple of any English child's upbringing, they are ritually eaten for breakfast, elevenses, an afternoon snack or any other time of day you can fit them in - just make sure they're oozey with butter. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's website.

Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 12 crumpets


400 ml milk

1 tablespoon dried yeast

1 teaspoon caster sugar

300 g strong white flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

A dash of vegetable oil

Butter ingredients:

350ml double cream

1. I can't believe it's not batter (it is)

Start this recipe off by activating your yeast (no, close the couch to 5k app, yeast gets active the way we all wish we could: by getting cosy and warm and eating a lot of sugar). Warm 400ml milk in the microwavé for about 10 seconds or until lukewarm, add 100ml warm water, 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1tsp sugar. Leave the yeast for 15 minutes until its as bubbly as a foam party in the noughties.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: 300g strong white flour, 1/2 tsp bicarb and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the center, fill it quickly with the yeast mixture before the girl from the ring crawls out. Whisk together until combined - it should be the thickness of double cream.

Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 45 minutes to get more bubbly. Afer that time it should look like this:

2. Churn up the heat

To make the butter, first find your nearest Amish person, and ask them to bring their finest butter churner.. only joking! Whisk 350ml double cream with an electric hand whisk for 5 to 10 minutes until the cream splits - they will be solids and liquids, and the solids will be yellow - you'll know its time because the liquid will start to splash out of the bowl onto you.

Pour the seperated cream into some muslin or a nut bag. Run some water colder than Greta wants the Arctic to be over the split cream. Once rinsed, squeeze out all of the liquid from the solids with a firm squish.

Tip the solid butter onto a chopping board and slap with your paddles until they're beautiful rectangles. Add a tiny bit of salt if you want it salted (heed "a tiny bit", you don't want your butter to taste like a tanker full of salt has spilt into the sea).

Wrap in greaseproof paper and place in the fridge.

3. Ring a ding ding

After your batter has sat for 45 minutes, heat a large frying pan and spread a thin layer of vegetable oil over the bottom, oil your ring moulds (10cm ones work perfectly) and leave to heat up in the pan.

Once the rings and the pan are as hot as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen finds himself, add 4 tablespoons of batter to each ring. Cook the crumps until bubbles appear on the surface and burst, leaving holes - about 5 minutes. Use tongs to lift up the ring mould - not your fingers! nature's tongs won't do this time - once the ring is off, flip the crumpet over to cook on the other side, this should only take 1 minute.

Cook the next batch, making sure to re-oil the pan and the ring moulds - don't forget to leave the rings to heat in the pan first, like you're Frodo warming the ring over Mount Doom and the eyes of the crumpet are searching for you.

Butter your crumpet whilst its still hot and dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "The only time I ever really appreciated crumpets was when I found out that they sell giant ones called grumpets. Making crumpets, however, was a lot of fun, and the end result took me back to my childhood and the many buttery crumpets that filled it. This recipe was pretty quick for a bread recipe, the resulting crumpets (the ones that worked that is) had a nice chewy texture - but I would definitely make sure to oil the ring moulds more in future and make the crumpets less tall! The butter on the other hand was an absolute delight, it was so quick to make and tasted like gourmet butter, plus slapping it with the paddles was a joy. And enjoying it with my BB made it even more delightful! The crumpets were a bit of a disappointment so: 4/10 "

Kate says: " Crumpets… a staple of any afternoon snack in the UK. Not being available in Germany, I was super excited to make these and I was hoping they would be easy. I suppose they were.. quite easy… but the taste was not there (didn’t help that we only half-cooked them and they were still raw in the middle) I think I’d give them another go because they probably take some practice but I wasn’t blown away. On the other hand - the butter was a roaring success and SO easy! I will definitely make my own butter again and it went very nicely with the pieces of crumpet that were cooked. 5/10 (But 10/10 for the butter!)"

4.5/10 Gasps


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