Thursday, May 5, 2016

Midweek Roundup: "Just About Perfect"

Photo by Rosa
Simply Delicious Blog

Holey (not holy) was the word of the day in Alpha Bakers land, with everyone admiring the many holes that formed the perfect home for melting butter and oozing jam during that brief period between making and eating.

Rosa showed that you could use half whole wheat flour and still get oodles of holes and perhaps a somewhat more healthful final product (although who's kidding whom--it's the butter and jam that are meant to fill those holes, even if they're partly whole grain.  (Does that make them half grain?)  Like many of us, Rosa had to adjust the heat to find just that sweet spot between burning and failing to brown, but since she made a double recipe, she had plenty of time to get it right.

Faithy has a picture of her Goldilocks crumpets--"the first batch no bubbles ... cos not enough heat." The 2nd row ... the fire too big ... and burnt the crumpets ... and the last row...just right...but I ran out of batter."  Also, it's hot and humid in Singapore again (but what else is new?) and everyone in her household is on some kind of diet so her fantastic baked goods lie uneaten.  Thanks for hanging in there, Faithy!

Vicki has been "eagerly waiting" for the opportunity to make crumpets, which are "second only to scones" in her list of favorites.  And worth the wait, too, -- "they were so much fun to stir up."  She thinned the batter a little, to encourage the bubbles, without which a crumpet would be nothing more than a "flubbery pancake."  The result?  "Hands down these crumpets dance circles around the packets from Trader Joe's."  

Nancy was also happy to see crumpets come up on the Alpha list.  She was culling her cookbook collection when she came across an old Time-Life bread cookbook, from which she'd made her first ever batch of crumpets years ago.  Feeling nostalgic, she had a go with Rose's crumpet recipe, and found they were as good as she remembered them to be.  And she "now ha[s] 5 holey crumpets for future toasting--the 6th having been eaten off the griddle with a bit of butter."  Everyone's favorite way to eat a crumpet, it seems, although perhaps "a lot of butter" might be even better than a "bit."

Unlike Nancy, this was Rachel's first foray into crumpet-making adventures.  Her initial thought was "Crumpets???!!  I can't make crumpets!  Nobody makes crumpets at home, this will never work!"  But then she realized she has already made all manner of things most people buy at stores, so perhaps it would work.  And it did.  They turned out to be "fun, easy and just a little different.  Or as my daughter said, 'definitely weird, but still worth eating.'"

Jen said she can't hear the word "crumpet" without thinking of David Sedaris's dark adventures in his temp Christmas job as Crumpet the Elf, which, she acknowledged, does not put you in the proper frame of mind for making proper English crumpets.  But she managed to put the elf out of her mind long enough to whip up a batch of crumpets.  A batch of 5 crumpets, not 6, because she made them thick enough to split.  (Well, how was she to know you don't split a crumpet?)  The better to butter them, my dear.  

Catherine, however, would not be satisfied with 5 crumpets.  In fact, as she was writing her blog, she was waiting for her second batch of crumpets to finish their rise.  "That's how much I enjoyed making and eating the first batch."  Catherine's mother used to make crumpets (I doubt if any of us living in the U.S. could make that claim), so "they have that veil of nostalgia."  It took "a bit of fiddling" to get the heat just right, and so her second batch is going to be a bit thinner.  But the first batch was full of holes and "blissful toasted with butter and honey."  

Katya, finally back from Ireland, has been baking like a house afire to catch up.  She doesn't say whether she ate crumpets in Ireland, so I'm going to guess that she didn't, but she has eaten them from The Crumpet Shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market, which made her start thinking of the crumpet as something she might like to make.  After all, "they live on the spectrum between pancakes and English muffins, so what's not to like?  I'll make and eat anything that can be spread with butter and jam."  So she'll make them again, maybe making the batter even wetter "to encourage hole formation."  

Next week:  the homey (not holey) Blueberry Buckle.  A lovely fruit dessert on the Quick & Easy list. What could be nicer for spring?

There will be no roundup for the next 3 weeks.  I'll be in Croatia and Slovenia (and maybe Montenegro or Sarajevo, if we can work in a side trip or 2).  I should be able to post everything and stay caught up, but I'm pretty sure I won't have the time and maybe not the internet connection to write the midweek roundups.  Enjoy the buckle, the tartlets, and the icebox cake.  See you at the scheherazades!  


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  2. Great presentation and picture, Rosa. This was really a fun bake to see everyone's crumpets. Safe traveling for you and Jim. Please send FB post cards.

  3. Thank you Marie for posting my picture and the round-up is nice, Marie I used a little less than 1 cup , (3/4 cup) of whole wheat and also put a little more of batter too in each rings :)..P.S. they have more flavor and I used BlackBerry preserve and butter "Yummy ".( Marie have a great time and see you when you get back :)