I’ve been making a LOT of bread lately as I try to perfect my method of making a good artisan sourdough loaf that is crusty outside, light and airy, and spongey on the inside. The last few loaves I’ve made, adjusting my technique slightly, has resulted in what I think are the most perfect loaves I’ve ever made, and they take so little effort, but a whole lot of patience.
I made my starter from sultanas and water after buying Silvia Colloca’s baking book, ‘Love, Laugh, Bake’, which set me firmly on the path of making my own bread. I keep the starter in the fridge, feeding it once a week, but I take it out of the fridge on Thursdays and feed it to reactivate at room temperature. I can get a dough ready to slow prove overnight ready for Saturday morning baking. However, if there are weeks where I don’t make bread or I’ve had to feed it a lot to reactivate it, I can accumulate too much starter and end up having to discard a whole heap to make room for the feed. So I was looking for some uses for excess starter, particularly unfed discarded starter: Google suggested crumpets as an option.
I’ve made a few batches of these now and they are a true delight. Keep your discarded starter in a sealed container in the fridge and feed as necessary (once a week should do it) until you have enough to make this simple batter. For this recipe, you can use your saved starter straight from the fridge, you don’t need to feed it first. The addition of baking powder immediately activates the starter with just a quick few seconds of whisking. Be careful not to over-whip the batter or you’ll end up with more dense and chewy crumpets. Whisk until the batter froths, thickens and rises up. It should be full of big air bubbles and have a creamy texture. Then it’s ready for frying!
You’ll need a non-stick frypan, non-stick egg rings, and some soft butter to brush onto the inside of the egg rings before ladling in the batter. Then it’s just like making pancakes: fry over medium to low heat until the batter bubbles and almost completely dries on top being careful not to burn the base of the crumpets. The batter should start to come away from the rings. Then remove the rings and flip the crumpets to lightly brown on the other side.
These will have the slight tang of the sourdough, but you’ll find them light, fluffy, airy, and far too easy to eat warm, straight off the pan. If there are any left over, freeze them in batches for quick breakfasts and afternoon teas.
- 2 Cups sourdough starter, unfed
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- Soft butter for greasing and frying
Add salt, sugar and baking powder to starter in a large bowl.
Whisk to activate the baking powder – the mixture should froth, thicken and rise up after a few seconds and take on a bubbly creamy consistency. Do not over-whip (you’ll know if you’ve over-whipped, the batter will sink and go watery again).
Heat egg rings in a fry pan on high. Reduce the temperature to medium-low. Brush the inside of rings with soft butter.
Ladle in some batter until about 1/3 to 1/2 full leaving room for rising.
Fry until the surface is bubbly and the batter almost completely dried being careful not to burn the bases. Remove the egg rings and flip the crumpets. Fry a few minutes until the tops are lightly golden.
Serve immediately with your choice of toppings, or store cooled crumpets in an airtight container to reheat or toast later.