Now once I give you this recipe – you’re all going to love me. You’re all going to want to come and beat on my door and give me a big cuddle. I just know. How do I know? Because this is an easy bread that you can knock up in around an hour (less time in the warmer weather). You can use them are crumpets, or make them thicker, cut them through the middle, and treat them like English Muffins or a flat roll. Just one bowl, not too many weird ingredients, a bit of elbow grease and you’re away.
I actually got the idea from Miss B, who got the idea from me, and I got the idea from an SBS food programme hosted by Rachel Khoo. Now I don’t normally watch Rachel Khoo – I just can’t stand the flirtatous glances at the camera under the lashes accompanied by clownish red lips. Sorry, Rach, I’m sure you’re a swell girl and one hellofa cook – but try a more neutral tone of lippy and stop treating the camera like you’re on a cheeky first date, and you’ll have an avid viewer in me.
Anyway, Rachel made crumpets on her show, and I thought, “I could make them, I reckon!” Come Saturday morning, “what do you guys want for brekkie?” comes the usual question, as I stand in the teeny tiny kitchen in my goonie with Miss B and Little Miss looking at me through iPad sleepy eyes. “Humph, don’t know” is Little Miss’ grunted response. (She’s not a morning person). Miss B goes straight into brainstorming mode. “Well, we could have pancakes, or what about scrambled eggs, I know that Nixy and Morgen laid eggs yesterday Oooo! Crumpets. You could make crumpets.”
OooooooKaaaaaay. Well, you find a recipe, B and we’ll see what we need. So off she trots and back she comes iPad in hand and proceeds to rattle off a recipe. Sounds simple enough, easy to GF.
In go the flours and yeast and liquid, give it a good razz to get rid of the lumps and then cover with a tea towel and set aside to proof until doubled in size. While that was happening, I’m trying to explain to Miss B what egg rings are. “You know, the round metal things that you put eggs in when you fry them.”
“But you don’t fry eggs. Why do you have to put them into metal rings? Why do they have to be round? What’s wrong with odd-shaped eggs?”
“Well, I don’t know. But I think I have some, because I bought them for other GF breading activities or for round pancakes.”
“Why do pancakes have to be round? What’s wrong with odd shaped pancakes? They taste just the same.”
Yep, OK. Thanks B. Now let’s just look for the egg rings. We didn’t find them, but we did find mini-clip form round tins. Ahh-ha! These’ll do.
Back to the mixture and it’s all bubbly, really quite loose – like a thickish pancake mix. Thinner than a hotcake mix, but thicker than a crepe mix.
Now, if I have one piece of advice to give you – it is this – GET A CREPE PAN. Best purchase ever!!!
450g flour – I used: 250g buckwheat/100g rice flour/100g tapioca starch
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3/4 Tbsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp cellulose gum OR 1 Tbsp psyllium husk ******** See notes at the end
550ml of liquid ( I used half rice milk and half water) – at room temperature or tepid – don’t make you liquid too hot or it’ll kill your yeast.
Mix dry ingredients together, either in a large bowl or use a mixer*. Make a well in the centre and add half the liquid. Mix to combine. Add another 1/4 of the liquid and mix – getting rid of lumps. Add the remaining liquid. If you’re not using cellulose gum then you might come a bit unstuck. You want your mix to be half-way between a hot cake mix and a crepe mix. It should have some drag as you stir it in the bowl. I think I should do a video….whatcha think?
*I generally use my Vitamix to make this crumpet batter – just put your liquid into the jug FIRST, and then the dry ingredients on top. You will need to stop the machine a few times to scrap down the side to get all the dry to mix into the wet. Just whizz on medium speed until well combined and mixture is smooth
Set your mix aside (in a bowl) to proof for 30 mins – 1 hour until it has doubled in size. Rate of rise will depend upon your kitchen temperature.
Get out your crepe pan – or fry pan. Spray with some oil and set your rings in place (spray them with oil too). I do three or four at one time.
Once the dough has risen turn your hot plate on. You want a medium-low heat.
Mix the dough with a wooden spoon or ladel. It’ll sink beautifully – don’t stress – your yeast is busy now and can’t wait to hit the heat!
Spoon a ladleful of the mix into your rings. If you want “real” crumpets – then don’t add more than 0.5 – 0.8cm of mix into the ring – it will rise. The more mix you put in the rings – the fatter your crumpets will be – but they’ll also take longer to “set” and might get a bit dark brown on the bottom. To get the real crumpet bubbly top – I covered the rings with a saucepan lid or flat baking tin. This keeps the heat in and steams them a little.
The easiest way is to make a thicker crumpet. Add around 1 cm of mix and after around 3 – 4 mins of cooking time remove the rings (watch they’ll be hot!) and flip your crumpet over to cook and brown the other side. Make sure the top is set before you flip or you’ll have mix all over the pan!
If you want a blueberry or strawberry or peach crumpet, once you’ve ladled you batter into the round rings, drop a few small pieces of fruit into the crumpets and cook for a little bit longer – as the fruit will add water into your batter.
These crumpets actually remind me of English muffins. I found that I could wrap them in plastic and they next morning they were still soft and the kids took them to school as sandwiches. They also freeze really well and can be refreshed in the oven or toaster. All in all winner!
So if you’re looking for an easy and fast gluten free bread to serve at brekkie or to use as a burger bun or as sandwiches – this might be your answer.
******** A few notes on hydrocolloids or thickeners. There are number of hydrocolloid choices available to help keep your liquids and flours combined as well as offer a level of viscousity to your mix that mimics gluten (to a certain extent). You can use xanthan gum or guar gum – but I personally don’t like the weird gummy texture they give baked goods. Alternatively 1 Tbsp psyllium husk or 2 Tbsp linseed meal or 2 Tbsp chia seeds. You will need to experiment as to how much you’ll need to thicken your mixture.
Not all cellulose gums (carboxymethyl cellulose – CMC) are created equal – have the same centipose – levels of viscousity in water. If any Australian folk want some cellulose gum – just ping me an email with your address and I’ll sent you some: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve got a 20kg bag of food grade cellulose gum that I use in my bread products. It’s made in Japan. However, I can’t see me using 20kg of it in this life time!!!! Happy to post some to you for you to have a play in your GF baked goods. J x