If you keep a sourdough starter, like I do, you know that you have to throw out a bit every time you feed it – unless you bake a loaf every day. Usually I’ll just bite the bullet and toss the unfed starter, but sometimes I’ll try and do something with it. King Arthur has some great recipes, including one for making Sourdough Crumpets with that leftover starter!
All you do is add a bit of sugar, salt and baking soda to the starter and toss it in a dry frying pan to cook like a pancake. The baking soda neutralises the acidity of the starter and, in the process, creates lots of air bubbles, which are perfect for filling with butter, honey or lemon curd. The crumpets are best fresh and crisp off the grill, so eat them as you make them. If you make more than you can eat in one sitting, just pop the leftover crumpets in the toaster to crisp them up again.
KA’s recipe is great and super easy. Once you’ve made these, you won’t even need a recipe! It calls for the use of a 4 inch crumpet ring (or other circular, hollow tin), but it works just fine if you don’t use one. I don’t have a crumpet ring, so I did mine free-form. They’re a bit thinner this way, but no less tasty.
Place 1 cup of (unfed) starter in a 4-cup measuring cup, or a medium bowl. Stir in 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and baking soda. Whisk together.
Grease 4-inch crumpet rings (or eyeball the crumpt size) and place on a griddle/skillet on low/medium heat. Fill the rings with about 1/4-inch of batter (don’t overfill). Cook over low heat until the tops are set and full of holes and start to loose their shine. Remove the rings and flip the crumpets and cook the other side until lightly browned.
Cool on a rack and toast before serving to brown further and crisp. Eat with butter and jam.
Makes about 8
Helen (AugustusGloop)June 26, 2005
I always wondered how they got the holes into crumpets! =)
And I had to laugh at the first sentence of your post… cos I sooo doesn’t apply to me. About as impressive as people who roast their own coffee beans… lol
AnaJune 27, 2005
Nic, I always wanted to have sourdough and never did precisely because I knew I would not be baking every day. So that’s the secret huh? Maybe I’ll try to keep sourdough in my fridge too. Because sometimes I just have a craving.
Those crumpets look lovely.
Zarah MariaJune 27, 2005
That looks wonderful Nic! I really should get a new sour dough starter up an running again…
NicJune 27, 2005
A.G. – Flattery will get you everywhere. At least I’m not baking bread daily using pieces of dough from the previous day… yet…
Ana – It’s so easy to keep it in the fridge. You only have to feed it once every week or two, or when you want to bake with it. Or when you want crumpets!
Zarah – Keeping it is so much easier than I thought it would be. I hope you start one up again.
LynnJune 27, 2005
Nic, thanks for the post. I am constantly throwing out precious starter, and the one time I made crumpet there weren’t enough holes in them. You’ve solved two problems with one recipe! BTW, I used pancake molds to make crumpets and they turned out ok.
AliceJune 27, 2005
Those look really good! It’s sounds so fancy to be eating crumpets! Hope you had tea with them. 🙂
StephanieJune 27, 2005
Mmm…now that I have crumpet rings, I can make all kinds!
I hadn’t heard of sourdough crumpets, but I will certainly give them a try.
LizJune 27, 2005
Thanks for the inspiration. I find starter intimidating, so I’ve never kept it. Your crumpets look like a good reason to start.
NicJune 27, 2005
Lynn – On a few of mine, the bubbles in the batter didn’t pop for some reason – they just sat there. So I cheated and just poked the tops of those bubbles with the tip of my knife.
Alice – There must be some law requiring tea with crumpets. But I think if I used nutella on them instead of lemon curd, I would have coffee.
NicJune 27, 2005
Stephanie – Go for it. Crumpets are addictive!
Liz – Good luck with your starter. Finding things to do with it (besides plain sourdough loaves) is part of the fun.
MollySeptember 23, 2005
Nic, I printed out the King Arthur recipe when you first put up this post, and I wanted to pop in today–three months later!–to tell you that I finally made the crumpets. They were wonderful! I used 4-inch crumpet rings and filled them with a little over a 1/2-inch worth of batter (the recipe says to fill them only a 1/4 inch), so the finished beauties were about 3/4 of an inch tall, just like the crumpets here in Seattle’s Crumpet Shop. They were outrageously delicious with a little butter, a fine sprinking of salt, and some good honey. Thank you! I’ll be doing this often…