Sourdough Crumpets with Natural Starter
270 grams (1 cup) "100%" natural white wheat sourdough starter -- it doesn't need to be particularly ripe, and may have been kept in the fridge for a few weeks (I like to use one or two day old refreshed starter from the fridge).
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
vegetable oil/butter for greasing
Place the starter in a large bowl. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk to combine. (Add a wee bit of milk if your starter is very thick).
Place a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat, or preheat a griddle to 180°C (360°F). Grease crumpet rings well, if using, and place on the skillet to preheat.
When the skillet and rings are hot, add the baking soda to the batter and whisk it in. As the baking soda reacts to the acid in the starter, the batter will quickly start to foam and rise.
Using a measuring cup, a small ladle, or an ice cream scoop, pour about 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the batter into each crumpet ring, or directly onto the skillet if you're not using rings.
Cook for a few minutes, until the top is set; exact timing will depend on your stove, your skillet, and the thickness of your crumpets. (If your stove has hot spots -- and I don't mean the wifi type -- you may have to rotate the skillet every once in a while, and rotate each crumpet after a few minutes so they brown evenly.) As they cook, the crumpets will gradually shrink back from the rings.
Using tongs, lift the crumpet rings off the crumpets (wriggle them loose and/or use a knife to help loosen the crumpets if they stick a bit), and optionally (this is not traditional but I prefer them that way), flip the crumpets to brown lightly on the other side.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Wipe down the crumpet rings if necessary, re-grease, and place them on the skillet to preheat again before repeating with the remaining batter. (When you're done with the crumpet rings, handwash and dry them thoroughly so they won't rust.)
Crumpets should be toasted before eating.
The crumpets can also be frozen once cooled: freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet before putting them in a freezer bag so they won't clump. You can pop them in the toaster straight from the freezer.
Well, do let me know how you get on with these because I really do want to know! To start you off let me say that my husband was expecting sour little doughy things and he ate one after another exclaiming how light they were!