Pikelets – Week 11

Have you ever heard of pikelets?

Depending on who you ask a pikelet is a free-form crumpet, a type of pancake, a little Welsh cake, a small round teacake, a muffin or a form of bread (one of the easiest to make). Some sources say it is specific to Australia and new Zealand and most claim a Welsh origin where it was known as ‘bara piglydd’, later anglicised as pikelet. The Welsh word for bread, is bara and it refers to a type of ‘bun’ or griddle bread cooked on a hot plate, not in an oven. In some references it is associated with London, in others with Midland counties of England, and in others with the North of the country. Sometimes it is a ‘pyflet’, and occasionally there is a reference to a ‘picklet (or pyflet) stone’ on which they are cooked

It is often called the ‘poor man’s crumpet’ as it was made by those who could not afford rings to make crumpets and so would drop the batter freely into the pan.

Anyway, pikelets are generally round and with small pockets in them, but as crumpets are made in rings, they can be made into any shape by simply changing the shape of the ring, you’ll find squares, bunny shapes, teddy shapes etc. With a Pikelet this is not possible as there is no ring. A sweet snack, savoury treat, tea-time tucker or a base for posh-nosh (canape) they are fun and easy to make. Great for beginner bread makers! The best description I have found so far is:

Slightly Irregular Conformity.

And they taste pretty wonderful too! Serve lightly toasted and buttered, with jam or á la Devonshire with clotted cream. Leftovers will keep a few days or can be frozen.

225 g strong white flour

1 tsp caster sugar

½ tsp salt

1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast

¼tsp bicarbonate of soda

175 ml warm semi-skimmed milk

175 ml hand-hot water

sunflower/ vegetable oil for brushing

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Please not – there’s too much bicarbonate of soda in this picture if you use too much they will taste horrible!
  1.  Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Gradually blend in the milk and water and beat with a balloon whisk or electric mixer for a few minutes to make a smooth batter. cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave in a warm place until the mixture becomes light and frothy. This may take up to 1 ½ hours.

2. Beat the batter again for 1 minute, until it is smooth.

3. Warm a large, non-stick frying pan over a warm heat. Brush the surface lightly with a little oil. Your pan needs to be really hot before you start to make the pikelets. Carefully spoon a tablespoon of batter into the pan to make a smooth round. You can cook 3 or 4 tablespoons at a time depending on the size of your pan.

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4. Cook the pikelets for about 2 minutes until the bubbles have burst and the batter is almost set. Turn over and continue cooking for about 30 seconds until they are just about a light golden colour.

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5. Repeat until all the batter has been used, greasing the pan lightly in between batches. Cool on a wire rack, or keep warm in a clean, tea towel.

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Simply delicious!
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