Honey, Cinnamon and Rye Crumpets

110ml warm water

2 tsp Happy Valley Manuka honey + another 1 tbsp Manuka honey (divided use)

1 tbsp dry active yeast (the kind that needs activating in water first)

175g rye flour (or strong wholemeal bread flour)

165g strong white flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

335ml room temperature milk (I used almond milk)

A little bit of oil for the pan and crumpet rings

Special equipment needed: crumpet rings or metal rings used with preserving jars; heavy cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan

Method:

1. Stir the warm water, 2 tsp honey and yeast together in a bowl until the honey melts. Cover and let stand in a warm but not hot place (like an airing cupboard) until bubbly and active – about 15-30 minutes.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well; pour in the yeasty mix, the 1 tbsp honey and the warm milk. Stir well then cover and leave in a warm place to get a bit “holey” and rise. 

3. Meanwhile, heat just a little oil in your heavy skillet over a low-medium flame, and oil the inside of the crumpet rings. Place the rings in the pan to heat up.

4. When the batter is springy and quite holey when lifted with a spoon, do a test crumpet: spoon in about 2 rounded tablespoons of batter into one of the rings. The batter will not immediately fill the space, and will be quite craggy, but it will sort itself out as it cooks. If the batter is ready the test crumpet will spread out to fill the space, and within a couple of minutes quite a few holes will puff to the surface. Cook the crumpet for about five minutes, or until it is very golden on the bottom.

5. Use tongs to lift away the crumpet rings, and with a spatula turn each crumpet and cook for a further two or three minutes until a pale golden colour. Carry on with the remaining batter, re-oiling the pan and rings as needed.

6. Eat right away slathered in butter and honey. Or, if 15 is too many to get through (!), cool, store and reheat briefly under a grill or in the toaster within three days. These also freeze.