These golden, yeasty, savoury batter cakes are perfect on a cold winter's morning with Vegemite, grilled cheese, or poached egg and bacon.
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1 tbsp butter, chopped
½ tsp castor sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
125g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
vegetable oil for cooking
In a small pan, gently heat half the milk with the butter and sugar, stirring until the butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining milk, stirring, and set aside to cool to "baby's milk" temperature. Whisk in the yeast and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 10 minutes until foamy.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarb soda into a large bowl, and make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes to one hour until foamy.
Lightly oil a heavy-based frypan and place 4 x 8 centimetre diameter, 2.5 centimetre deep oiled, straight-sided pastry cutters on the base. Pour the batter into the rings to about one centimetre high and cook over low heat for five minutes or until small holes form on top. Remove the rings and cook crumpets on the other side for one to two minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, thinning if necessary. Serve immediately, or cool and pop in the toaster to reheat.
If the batter is too thin, it will run all over the pan, and if it's too thick, it won't form the desired holeyness. Beginners should lean towards a thick batter, then thin it out with a little extra lukewarm milk as necessary.