Monday, February 11, 2013


Last week, I made my way over to the shuk for some fruits and vegetables. I haven't been there in ages but somehow, despite all the time that has passed, being there felt like coming home. The sights, sounds and smells, everything I love about Israel captured in once place. Home. While I was there, my eye caught sight of some rhubarb! It turns out to be rhubarb season here. It has a pretty short season here so Im glad I got out of the army just in time for it. Obviously, I picked up a bunch of it. (Luckily, strawberries are in season also so I picked up some of those.. More on what I did with them later..) When I got home, my thoughts immediately went in a million different directions but I knew for sure I wanted to make rhubarb jam. So I did, using a very simple recipe. Once I had the jam, I thought, well what am I going to smear it on?! Having no bread to make toast from I thought of whipping something up from scratch. Crumpets was my first thought (and an appropriate nod to my good friend A who just got engaged to a Brit) so I went about finding a recipe. Crumpets are that classic British tea time staple that are similar to what we know as English muffins. I chose Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe and set to work. Overall, these were simple to make and delicious to eat but my technique with the rings and the measuring was a bit amateurish. Oh well, there's always the next batch of jam.

Slightly adapted from The Bread Bible

1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk or soy milk, divided
1/4 tsp baking soda

In the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the flour through salt on low. Add the 3/4 cup water and, gradually raising the speed to medium, beat for five minutes or until completely smooth. Scrape the batter into a clean bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about one hour.
In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and remaining water and add to the batter. Allow to rise until almost doubled, about thirty minutes. The batter should be filled with bubbles.
Preheat a frying pan over low heat. Grease your crumpet rings, cleaned tuna cans, or round cookie cutters with a bit of oil or butter. Use a ladle to scoop the risen batter into the rings about two-thirds full. (There should be enough batter for six crumpets.) Cook until they are nicely browned on top and until they appear dull on top, about ten minutes. Flip them to finish the cooking, you want a nice brown color there too. Cool completely on a wire rack and enjoy with some homemade jam. Toast if desired!

The homemade rhubarb jam. Yum!
A treat of a breakfast. Crumpets with fresh rhubarb jam.

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