the breakfast crumpets at hotel hotel
Hotel breakfasts are usually all cubes of melon and dollops of yoghurt, floppy bacon and maple syrup. And crumpets, if they appear, are pulled out of the packet and toasted, hopefully. But the newish darling of Canberra, the spectacular Hotel Hotel, does real homemade crumpets that are so soft, so creamy and chewy and crumbly, I nearly fell into my strong soy flat white. These things have become Instagram famous, and just try to find a review of this place that doesn't mention them. Well, I bring you the homemade crumpet recipe.
When Sean McConnell, the remarkable chef behind Monster, the restaurant inside Hotel Hotel, and I sat down for an interview for my Sunday Style page, we got on to the business of talk about best food ever, eaten anywhere. He told me about the pork knuckle and shaved raw artichoke pho he had in Vietnam and I realised quickly that while yes he's a chef and so lives and breathes food, he's also completely absorbed by it, like me. The man goes in search of quality, remarkable food. It was while we were on the subject of remarkable food, then, that I begged him for the crumpet recipe. And, amazingly, he agreed. Here it is now, for you (with his permission).
The trick, he says, is to let the batter bubble and bubble and allow to almost spill out of the jug with its bubbling, then pour it straight into the rings in your pan from that jug. Start this recipe the night before. It makes 15 crumpets.
Sean McConnell's crumpet recipe
500g plain flour
3 tsp bicarb soda
7g dried yeast
30g caster sugar
30ml lukewarm water
800ml full cream milk
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and set aside in a warm area. Place butter on the stove with 200ml of the milk and heat to melt the butter. Sift flour and bicarb into a large bowl. Once butter mixture is hot, add to remaining milk and stir to mix. Add yeast and sugar mixture to the milk and stir. Create a well in the flour and slowly whisk in the milk and yeast mixture. Don't over mix. Leave the mixture to prove overnight in fridge or leave mixture to stand for minimum 10 minutes. Warm a non-stick pan and grease the inside of some egg rings. Half fill rings with mixture and leave to cook for 5 minutes each. No need to flip over. Serve immediately with good butter and raw honey.