For the very best breakfast you need a great English-style muffin, baked on a griddle inside muffin rings. So, if you get one of our BakeryBits custom-made Welsh Baking Stones and a few of BakeryBits Handmade Heavy-Duty Stainless Crumpet Rings, you'll find that making them becomes addictive and a pleasure.
The crumpet rings help the muffin to rise as they keep the muffin’s edges soft, and provide a round neat edge in case the dough gets a bit lively on the hotplate I’ve used a mix of dry alcoholic cider with a little cider vinegar to add a bright tart apple’ish flavour to the dough, but replace it with water if you’re prefer them plainer.
If you want to make these vegan, check your cider is suitable as many aren't: we recommend Sheppy's Cider in Somerset, as all their regular cider is vegan (except for their Honey Cider).
Pour the water and cider into a large mixing bowl then whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Stir in the cider vinegar and cornmeal then mix in the flour to a smooth soft dough. Cover the bowl, leave for 20 minutes then sprinkle the salt on top and mix this in well. Cover the bowl and leave for an hour to rise.
Lightly oil or flour a tray (don’t have to be heatproof, a plastic dinner tray is fine) and scoop the dough out onto it. Lightly flour the top of the dough and pat it out to about 2cm thick. Cover with a cloth and leave for 30 minutes to rise again slightly.
Have your Welsh baking stone or frying-pan ready on the stovetop: I very lightly oil the surface, rubbing away any excess with a paper towel. Then get the pan or stone moderately hot. Likewise if you’re using metal rings – like our BakeryBits crumpet rings – lightly oil or butter the inside and place them on top of the pan or stone to heat up. You can also sprinkle a little extra cornmeal inside the ring if you like.
Then, cut the dough into discs just slightly smaller that the metal rings. Carefully place the dough discs inside the hot metal rings, then wait for the muffins to puff up. Just cut enough dough discs to fill the rings you have, as the dough will spread and stick to the tray if left waiting. After a few minutes use a spatula to check how they’re baking underneath. When they’re brown and set on the base remove the ring and flip the muffin over to cook the other side.
If possible, have a baking tray in a 160C fan oven ready to slip the muffins into after cooking on the grill, especially if the muffins are on the thick side. 5-10 minutes extra cooking in the oven will make sure they are fully cooked inside.