Continuing frugal food for breakfast. I have to confess a deep admiration for the humble crumpet. Try them and you will see why! Homemade crumpets really do make cheap easy meals. All you need are some store-cupboard ingredients and you’re off!
Cheap Easy Meals – Homemade Crumpets
I know you can buy perfectly good crumpets in the shops. But though I cannot deny they are quick and pretty cheap, they are usually packed with preservatives too. Homemade crumpets are better for you, even cheaper and pretty darn quick too.
There are many ways of making crumpets. Usually yeast is used and often mashed potatoes too. This crumpet recipe is a simple and lets you create some really quick healthy meals for breakfast or brunch.
Traditionally you would need special crumpet rings. But this is frugal food so we don’t need those. The crumpets may not be exactly circular but they taste fantastic so frankly who cares?
Ingredients for Homemade Crumpets
225g (8oz) plain white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sugar
325ml (11 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (UHT is fine)
Sift all the dry ingredients into a wide bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid, using a wooden spoon. Mix it well to make a smooth, thick batter. Don’t panic a few lumps won’t destroy your crumpets!
Cover the bowl with a tea-towel and go and have a shower. About 45 minutes later grease a heavy frying pan with a tiny amount of butter or oil. You just want to grease the pan, not use the butter to fry your crumpets.
Put your heavy frying pan over a medium flame to heat up. When the pan is good and hot, drop tablespoons of the batter into it. The homemade crumpets will take a few minutes to cook on the first side. You know they are ready as the bubbles, which come to the surface all start to explode leaving proper crumpet holes. Turn them over and cook for barely a minute on the other side.
That’s all there is to it. One of the most enjoyable cheap easy meals you can ever have for breakfast.
I prefer to forget all about quick healthy recipes and just get on with loading these with plenty of butter and a little homemade marmalade. But to make your crumpets part of a slightly more special meal for brunch or lunch, consider these quick healthy recipes/ideas:
Poached Egg & Cheese Crumpets
When you turn over the crumpets sprinkle a tablespoon of grated cheese on top. It should melt into the crumpet holes. Cheddar or a mixture of cheddar and a cheap Danish blue cheese is good. Top with a poached egg.
I don’t want to sound condescending but I have spent years not being able to poach eggs. Recently thanks to the wisdom of Delia I now can. If you have any egg poaching issues try this:
Fill a small pan with 4cm (1.5”) water. Bring to simmering point then keep the heat low enough to see only a hint of simmering bubbles at the bottom of the pan. Break an egg gently into the water and cook for three minutes. The eggs must be very fresh and it is nearly impossible (for me at least) to poach more than two at a time.
Restrained Crumpet BLT
Drizzle a little olive oil on your homemade crumpets. Top with a slice of grilled tomato, some shredded lettuce and a rasher of grilled streaky bacon.
More Traditional, Less Quick but Still Cheap Easy Crumpets
If you want to feel a tad more authentic and smell the scent of yeast in your kitchen. You can make your crumpets cheap easy meals that involve a little more effort.
Follow the recipe above, omitting the bicarb and baking powder. For true authenticity use strong flour rather than just plain white flour. Warm the milk and sugar first and stir in a tablespoon of dried yeast. Leave for 15 minutes until it becomes frothy then continue as per the above cheap easy recipe.
There is no end to the world of possibilities with crumpets. They are tasty and such a treat it seems almost a waste to rush them with just butter & marmite (though that is my favourite!).
My approach to cooking generally involves not having to buy any expensive utensils. With these cheap easy crumpets there is no problem without a crumpet ring. If you are the sort of cook who owns egg rings you could use those. But you will need to butter them really well to stop the batter sticking, and take a lot more care turning them over. Quicker and easier to enjoy slightly misshapen crumpets instead!
One thing that is important for crumpets and so much more is a decent and heavy (preferably cast iron) frying pan. Mine is one of those extortionately expensive orange French varieties. But at 2 Euro at a car boot sale I am not complaining! I have to say, it is so good I would replace it with a full price model if anything every happened to it. Though, I suspect it shall outlive me anyway!
Crumpets are lovely eaten as soon as they come out of the pan. But, they do store really well frozen or for a few days in an airtight container. Just grill to reheat. Conveniently you can grill from frozen too which keeps them quick!
Well, that’s another alternative to shop-bought toast for breakfast with crumpet based cheap easy meals to make yourself instead!
For a more self sufficient future