I have been meaning to make crumpets for years. I have been put off, however, by a friend who once told me they got into such a mess with the dough sticking to the rings, I just couldn’t be arsed. However, whilst searching for some sort of Scottish griddle cake to make for Burns night, I found Pikelets and I knew that would be it for me and crumpets. Pikelets are a simpler, less kerfuffle based crumpet and I love them.
Now, I had originally thought Pikelets were Scottish so they would be a pleasant nod towards this week’s Burns Night celebrations. But now, I’m not so sure. They could be Scottish; but they could also be from Wales, New Zealand and Australia, so feel free to use my Pikelets to mark any national celebrations; delete where appropriate. These bubbly little pancakes are so easy, I wished I’d made them years ago. Yes, they contain yeast, but no, you don’t have to knead them. The batter is a simple matter of stirring flour, yeast, sugar, warm milk and egg until smooth. Leave them to sit for an hour and a half, then fry spoonfuls in butter for huge reward. Serve warm, slathered in butter, heaped with jam or drizzled with honey. Or if you’re me, eat them hot from the pan in a show of total lack of restraint.
You can eat a Pikelet for breakfast, brunch or with a cup of tea mid afternoon. If I had my way I’d pretty much replace every meal with a butter soaked Pikelet; I hope you’ll agree.
Standard pancake line up here, plus the yeast. These Pikelets have a lovely bready flavour thanks to the yeast, making them a step up from a regular pancake. Don’t be fooled by the sugar, it’s only a teaspoon and these aren’t necessarily sweet, I imagine these would also be good with a slice of cheese.
You will need to allow at least an hour and a half rising/bubbling time for the batter, so start your Pikelets well in advance. I made the effort for you and got up nice and early. Start by mixing the flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl.
Warm the milk until just tepid either on the hob or in the microwave then whisk in the egg.
Whisk the milk/egg business into the flour, gradually to avoid lumps, until smooth.
Now pop a tea towel over the bowl and leave to bubble away for around 1 and a half to 2 hours. Somewhere warm; such places were hard to find in our house today.
When the time’s up, or in my case, when you’re back from a snowy dog walk, cold and hungry, stir the salt into the batter.
Heat a non stick frying pan over a low to medium heat with a small piece of butter. Then spoon in generous spoonfuls of the Pikelet batter into the hot-ish pan. I used the smallest of my favourite ice cream/cookie scoops and that did the job nicely.
Cook for around 3 minutes or until bubbles form on the top and the underside is golden. Then flip and cook for a further minute or two on the second side.
Keep the cooked Pikelets warm in a low oven while you finish cooking the rest of the batter. Add another knob of butter to the pan where necessary.
The batch made at least 3 more than you see here; these are so good hot from the pan. Your light, airy Pikelets are ready for devouring, warm, with a slather of butter, jam, honey, the possibilities are, as always, endless.
Tequila hot chocolate, optional, but hugely necessary, post snowy dog walk.
Ok so a Pikelet may not be 100% Scottish, but Burn’s Night is a bloody good excuse to eat them, if you feel you need one. I may now be celebrating with a Pikelet at least once a week from hereon in.
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Makes around 16 to 20, depending on how many you eat as you go along
You will just need a bowl and a frying pan for these
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
250ml milk, warmed
3/4 teaspoon salt
Butter for frying
Butter, jam, honey, cream to serve
Take a large bowl and measure in the flour, yeast and sugar and give it a little mix to combine.
Heat your milk in the microwave or on the hob until just warm. Whisk the egg into the milk then whisk the liquid into the flour/yeast mixture until smooth. Place a towel over the bowl and leave for an hour and a half to 2 hours.
When the time’s up, whisk in the 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Heat a small piece of butter in a non stick frying pan over a low to medium heat on the hob. Spoon in the Pikelet batter in large spoonfuls (I used the smallest of these scoops) and cook until bubbles start to appear on the top and they’re golden on the bottom, around 3 minutes. Flip and cook for a further minute or two or until golden and well risen. Keep the cooked Pikelets warm in a low oven whilst you finish the batch. Add more butter to the pan as needed to fry off the rest of the batter.
Serve the Pikelets, warm, with plenty of butter, jam, honey, cream, these are versatile little buggers. Any leftovers can be reheated the following day in the microwave.
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