Crumpets: The next “It” food

So, as a nutrition major I’m always interested in what people consider the food in vogue, pop foods, fashion foods etc.

Let’s see there are the nutritional “It” foods: Açaí berries, Pomegranate Juice, Soy everything

The junk “It” foods: Cupcakes, FroYo, Cake Pops

And the obscure weird, indie, hipster “It” foods that people eat/drink not because they like it, but because it’s an anomaly: Raw meat, anything gathered or collected (berries, mushrooms etc), Yerba Mate, anything self sprouted, fermented etc

Fad foods are interesting, often they become a fad without a million dollar ad campaign, sometimes they are actually awesome (I’m a fan of moral mushrooms found in the Idaho mountains).

I’d like to propose the NEXT “It” food. . . . *drum roll* (but not really because you read the blog title)

CRUMPETS! They are simple, feminine, delicious (cheap), customizable and actually REALLY GOOD.

I had some over a year ago in some Seattle cafe, close to Pike Place, they were INCREDIBLE, served warm with whipped butter and honey, they were a complete treat, sort of like a moist, spongy English Muffin (sans cornmeal dusting). A more comforting breakfast couldn’t be found. I forgot about them, until during Christmas I was helping my mom organize her spare room and I found these My mom had picked them up at a garage sale years earlier, once seeing them I immediately was taken back to The Crumpet Shop two years ago and I remembered crumpets . . . oh sweet crumpets, and I could use THESE rings to make my own! After receiving my moms blessing to take her rings I stowed them away to bring back to Spokane, fast forward 3 weeks, Matt and I wake up on a chilly Sunday morning to a house with no cereal, no bread, few eggs, little milk and as I considered breakfast my mind remembered the rings!

I Bing searched Crumpets and tried the first recipe I found.

Crumpets Recipe

1/2 cup warm water (105° – 115°)
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups milk

My house was really cold, so we microwaved the bowl the dough would rise in to give it some initial heat, also warmed the milk slightly. We have a gas fireplace unit in our house to put the bowl directly in front of, I kept turning it around to get both sides warm, this might sound insane but our house was in the low 50s, it takes a long time for it to warm up especially in the morning.

I poured (WAY TOO MUCH) batter into the rings that I had sprayed with nonstick spray, I did let the pan and the rings heat up, medium low heat. After pouring the rings full I had to take about 1/2 of it out, (no duh??) because they GROW.

I let them cook for 7-8 minutes and then turned them (easier said then done, haha)

Mmmmm, they did look awesome, they cooked another 2-3 minutes then I de-ringed them, a little bit of a challenge, tongs made sense until I realized that I could just push them off with my fingers (carefully, they were a little hot)

I didn’t have clotted cream, or honey that wasn’t petrified hard, so Brummel and Brown and Strawberry jelly had to suffice.

INCREDIBLE!!!! I would tweak my recipe, or at least my cooking of it, needed to be thinner, my crumpets were THICK, and so they could get a little crispier, I also just used non-stick spray, not butter, although the healthier option, if you really want that classic crumpet consistency on the outside you might consider using butter.

Here are the recipe directions

In a large bowl, stir the sugar or honey into the warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and let it sit for about half an hour in a warm place.

Grease a griddle or frying pan and the crumpet rings or cookie cutters. Place the rings on the cooking surface and preheat all.

Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter into each 3″ ring and cook over medium low heat until set, about 10 minutes. (Avoid cooking them too quickly.) The top should be full of holes when they are ready to turn.

Remove the rings from the crumpets, turn, and brown the other side, if desired, for a minute or so. Repeat until all the batter is used.

I pretty much have made up my mind to start a crumpet cafe in Spokane, the name is up in the air, but I like “A Thinking Man’s Crumpet”. Matt suggested “Spokrumpet”, and as the advertising guru I should probably follow his lead on these things. . .

Maybe I’ll finish grad-school before considering business plans in this downtrodden economy. That’s probably a good plan. But that won’t keep me from playing with and perfecting a gluten free crumpet recipe . . .

To be continued. . .

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