Home/camp made crumpets with fig and honey, yum!
There are some foods that you can’t imagine being anything other than store bought. I know nobody who makes their own filo pastry. And who has ever whipped up a batch of sponge finger biscuits only to dowse them in espresso and stick them in a tiramisu? And crumpets. Surely they only come straight out of the Tip Top Bakery.
So imagine my surprise to find that you can make your own crumpets, and can do so camping? Now, really, I have to thank Ben O’Donaghue for this epiphany. I was doing a bit of channel surfing and came across an episode of his program Drive Thru Australia, my interest being piqued because the episode was set in our local stomping ground, the Sunshine Coast.
In particular, he paid a visit to the Buderim Ginger Factory at Yandina and toured through the factory. Now that he can have all to himself: I guess this is why I will never be a very good food blogger, because I am not the biggest fan of ginger. I like a bit of ground ginger in a spice cake, and if it’s really cold don’t mind a nip of Stone’s Green Ginger wine, but in the main my palate and ginger just don’t agree. Maybe it comes back to that very first time I had sushi. It was on a flight to Japan and I eagerly scoffed what I thought was a little piece of smoked salmon – a mistake this little black duck has made only once!
So watching Ben standing next to steaming vats of pre-crystalised ginger almost made my stomach churn. Luckily, he got out of there pretty quick-smart and having picked up a couple of ginger products, parked his van outside a national park and proceeded to whip up a batch of crumpets right out there in the open. With my newly acquired knowledge that crumpets don’t have to come out of a packet, I resolved I would have to try these for myself.
That required taking the caravan on a little trip. Of course I could have made the things in my own kitchen, but when you’re trying to be a smarty pants, there’s no better place to do it than in a caravan park or camping ground with the potential for passing pedestrian traffic to marvel over your culinary expertise, or call for the fire brigade if everything goes awry.
To get the recipe, I went to the Heatbeads website, Heatbeads being the sponsor of Drive Thru Australia. The recipe was posted there, and I was able to re-watch the segment from the program. I noticed that there were a couple of discrepancies between the printed recipe and what Ben used in the video, particularly in relation to the amount of sugar. The recipe cited only a teaspoon, but the video said about a tablespoon. So I did a bit of googling for other crumpet recipes (yes there were heaps. Apparently people have been making their own crumpets for years, and haven’t even been too secretive about it) and came up with 2 teaspoons as a happy compromise.
So here’s my recipe for Camping Crumpets – with a nod to Ben O’Donaghue.
2 cups plain flour
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
200ml milk at room temperature (Ben used full cream; I used low fat and the crumpets still turned out well)
200ml soda water at room temperature (Cascade produces soda water in 200ml cans)
½ teaspoon bi carb of soda
1 teaspoon of salt
A lovely butter, like Lurpak
A jam or conserve of choice
Place flour, yeast and sugar into a bowl and give it a stir to mix. Make a well in the centre and add the milk. Stir until combined. Add the soda water and stir vigorously until smooth.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warmish place until the mixture double in size and has lots of air bubbles (60 – 90 minutes). Take the opportunity to go for a stroll along a river, cast a few lines or take a short bush walk. (See why this is a great recipe for camping?)
Having worked up an appetite, return to the mix and add the bi carb and salt to the mixture and stir to combine.
Heat a barbeque plate or gas cooker to a medium heat. You don’t want the crumpets to cook too quickly. Spray the plate or frying pan as well as four egg rings. Add a couple of dessert spoons of the crumpet mix to each ring. Don’t overfill them because the mixture will rise. Cook for about six minutes until the crumpets have risen and there are lots of holes in them. Flip them over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Serve warm with butter and jam. Yummy.
Air bubbles forming in the proving dough
You should get 12-13 crumpets out of this recipe using standard egg rings. If you are lucky enough to actually own crumpet rings, you will get fewer, but bigger crumpets.
Now these crumpets don’t look exactly the same as the store bought ones, nor do they taste the same – they are so much better! I can’t imagine eating a store bought one again!
I thought the crumpets balanced beautifully with the sweetness of the jam, but if you find the dough a little salty you can adjust the sugar. Remember, the video version used “about a tablespoon”.
And here’s the added bonus. There were only three of us for breakfast, so we had a few crumpets left over. For breakfast the next day, I cut them down the centre, dipped them in an egg and milk mix and made French Toast. Doused in maple syrup and served with bacon, they made for a delicious heart attack on a plate, but as a sometimes/camping treat, go wild!
One special note to myself: when you are on a powered site and have a microwave, there is no need to set an alarm for 5:00 am to pour a glass of milk to leave out to get to room temperature. Definitely one of those “Duh!” moments.
And if you want to watch Ben O’Donaghue do it, here’s the link. http://www.heatbeads.com.au/recipe/ben-odonoghues-homemade-crumpets/
Kath (The Caravan)