my dad tells me that there was a baker in new albany in the 1930s and 40s that everyone called "pop" williams. on most days back then, after he closed william's bakery for the afternoon, pop walked over to the grand theater when it opened for the first matinee and he sat in the back row to take a nap, at no charge. by that time of day he was tired and hot from his work at the bread ovens, and the grand was one of the few businesses that stayed cool with air conditioning.
       lately i've been thinking a lot about pop williams and what his life as a baker must have been like. and, i'm thinking i would like to spend my days like that: to wake up to the moon, instead of the sun . . . turn on lights, and mixers, and ovens . . . shape dozen of rolls and loaves out of fermented dough, and dust them with flour before baking. i would like exchanging chirps of pleasantries with the first few customers of the day, the early birds, on their way to work. and then to hear the gratifying slam of the truck doors after the hustle to load it for the deliveries to restaurants and markets. oh and yes, i would like to take a restful nap after all of my hard work. i do love a nice nap.
for now i'm satisfied with baking for jim, our families, and friends . . . but maybe someday, i'll have a little bakery, and i'll serve crumpets like these to breakfast customers.  
i cut the top and bottom off of a peanut can to use as a form to make these light, sourdough crumpets. jim eats them with butter and jam. i like to top one with a fried egg, some cheese and a few slices of roasted tomatoes.

i found this recipe on the king arthur flour website . . . one of the resources i study to learn about baking bread.
• 1 cup of sourdough starter
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1. preheat a cast iron griddle over a med-low flame and rub just a little butter on it.
2. put the starter in a mixing bowl and sprinkle it with the sugar, salt, and baking soda.
2. use a large whisk and stir vigorously. the batter should froth and bubble.
3. butter the inside 1/2 inch or so of the tin can.
4. set the tin can on the preheated griddle and ladle in about 1/4 inch of batter.
5. let the batter heat through until the tops are set and bubble up with holes.
6. gently remove the tin can with a pair of tongs, and flip the crumpet to brown the top.
7. repeat with the rest of the batter, stacking the crumpets as they come off of the griddle.
8. to store: let them cool completely and freeze in a bag. pop frozen crumpets into the toaster to reheat and serve.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Your crumpets look wonderful. I'll be right over.