Sinking your teeth into hot, spongey, butter-laden crumpets is the paragon of comfort. When there’s rain sliding down the windows, and a fresh pot of tea brewing, I can think of no greater pleasure than devouring crumpets soaked and dripping with butter. Freshly made sourdough crumpets are our new weekend breakfast ritual and what’s more, they’re the perfect use for the sourdough starter you might otherwise discard after feeding.
Ceremoniously, every Friday morning, I get my starter out of the fridge to warm up and begin the revival process. Then, around 5pm, I feed her. That way, by Saturday morning, she’s lively, bubbling, and ready to use again. From the pot, I keep 75g that I feed and put somewhere warm and with what’s left, I bake.
The first thing I baked was a sourdough loaf, and while I have to admit that it was intensely gratifying, it was also incredibly labour intensive, meaning it’s realistically something I’m only going to do once a month, or so. With this in mind, I started looking for easier, quicker but equally satisfying sourdough recipes for using up the leftover/discarded starter.
It turns out, there’s so much that you can do with a sourdough starter (follow my sourdough recipe Pinterest board for ideas), from pizza dough, to pittas, brioche, scones, pancakes, doughnuts and, of course, crumpets.
Thick, spongey, porous and slightly tangy, these sourdough crumpets are, somehow, an improvement on the original and when slathered with butter, there’s simply no comfort that can compare. They’re as easy to make as pancakes, and require only a hot pan, oil and a little bicarb, salt and sugar added to the starter. So when the craving calls, you won’t even have to leave the house.
Ingredients – for 6 crumpets if using 9cm crumpet/egg rings
Sourdough starter, 500g
Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
Salt, a pinch
Sugar, a pinch
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, or jug bearing in mind the bircab will cause the mixture to grow.
Heat a non-stick pan rubbed with oil on a medium-high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Oil the crumpet rings well and place into the pan. Fill each one 1/2 way with batter and leave to cook. Don’t be tempted to prod and poke, or lift; wait until the top is set and firm to the touch.
When the top is set, lift your egg ring from the pan and run a knife around them to release the sourdough crumpets. They should come away easily. Then, placing the crumpets topside down, cook for another minute or until golden.
Lift the crumpets out of the pan and serve immediately with plenty of good quality butter and maybe even a generous dollop of golden syrup.
TIP: If you’re going to eat your crumpets later, leave them slightly underdone and then toast them when you’re ready. They freeze well, too.