After one year and 104 recipes, I finished the Brooks Bakes Bread Project on March 27, 2012. You can still find me baking and cooking at my new blog, Tangled Up In Food.

Categories: Griddle Breads

June 26, 2011

by stacy
Published on: June 26, 2011
Categories: Crumpets, Griddle Breads
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“Crumpets bear a close similarity to English muffins and to English muffin bread.  Rather soggy and holey, they must be toasted and treated to quantities of butter and good homemade jam.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

Last night I made my last recipe from the “Griddle Breads” section of Beard on Bread: Crumpets.  To make crumpets, you mix up a thick batter and cook it in metal rings on a hot griddle.  If you’re frugal (like me), you may want to try a test batch of crumpets before you invest in a set of crumpet rings.  In that case, Beard recommends using empty tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed.  I do not recommend using empty tuna cans, because your crumpets will become adhered the the cans, you will make a mess trying to get them out, and then you will be reduced to cooking an entire batch of crumpets using one small round cookie cutter.

Anyway, back to the beginning.  Here are the ingredients:

Crumpets Ingredients

Even though no kneading is required, the batter does need to rise twice.  I made the crumpets last night, so they would be ready for breakfast this morning.

The batter mixed up nicely, and I poured the batter into my two tuna can rings.  Everything seemed to be going well until I tried to remove the tuna can and flip over the crumpet to cook the other side.  I tried gently lifting up the can–the crumpet didn’t budge.  I tried loosening the edges with a knife–the crumpet refused to dislodge.  Finally, I held the can upside and shook it, spraying batter across my kitchen, but at least finally separating the crumpet from the tuna can.  Then, I got to repeat the process with Crumpet #2.

Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to a night of fighting with tuna cans and crumpet batter.  The only other round, ring-like object I have is a small round cookie cutter that I use for making biscuits.  It worked wonderfully as an impromptu crumpet ring–the only problem is that it takes a long time (about 45 minutes) to make a batch of crumpets when you can only make one at a time.  I tried using my pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, but I couldn’t get the crumpet out because batter got stuck in the pumpkin stem.

It took much longer that it needed to, but I managed to make a nice-looking batch of crumpets.


Mike and I ate our crumpets for breakfast this morning, toasted and with my mother’s delicious homemade strawberry jam.  Crumpets are somewhat like English muffins, only better: they are light and spongy, with a delicate texture.  For anyone who is curious, here is a nice blog post outlining the difference between crumpets and English muffins.

Crumpet Close Up

Since the crumpets were such a success, I bought a set of 4 crumpet rings.  If you want to try crumpets, I recommend that you do the same–I haven’t tried the rings out yet, but they have to be better than a pumpkin cookie cutter.


Yeast Buckwheat Cakes
May 31, 2011

by stacy
Published on: May 31, 2011
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“Buckwheat cakes have had a strong part in American cookery for the last 150 to 200 years, epitomizing the hearty fare of country life.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

Because he humors me, Mike agreed to another breakfast-for-supper night and we made Yeast Buckwheat Cakes tonight.

Here are the ingredients:

Yeast Buckwheat Cakes Ingredients

Beard, foolishly assuming that you’re going to have your Yeast Buckwheat Cakes for breakfast, tells you to mix the flour, salt, water, and yeast together the night before.  I mixed them together before I left for work, and let the mixture ferment all day.  When it was time for dinner, I added the baking soda, molasses, and melted butter.

My pancake-pouring technique is improving–many of my buckwheat cakes were impressively round.

Yeast Buckwheat Cakes

This recipe makes a lot of pancakes (the picture above is only about one-third of the batch).  Beard claims it yields “about 20 small pancakes.”  To me, 5 inches in diameter is not a “small” pancake.  Keeping in mind how sick I got from eating almost an entire batch of Yeast Griddle Cakes, I paced myself.  It was difficult, because Yeast Buckwheat Cakes are fabulous.  The buckwheat flour provides a nutty, savory flavor, and there is a hint of sourdough from the fermenting process.  Since I wanted to be thorough, I tried one with butter, one with strawberry jam, and one with maple syrup.  And then another one with maple syrup, and another, and another…and they were all delicious.

Yeast Buckwheat Cakes


Girdle Scones
May 21, 2011

by stacy
Published on: May 21, 2011
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“[Girdle Scones’] delicate texture makes them excellent when hot, split, buttered well, and spread with raspberry jam.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

After last night’s disappointment, I wanted to make something delicious for breakfast this morning.  I chose Girdle Scones for their simplicity and the fact that there is absolutely no butter in the recipe.

Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties none of the pictures I took saved to the memory card.

The ingredients for this recipe were flour, salt, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda (because my alertness level is never very impressive before breakfast, I accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference), and buttermilk.

Usually I substitute milk with lemon juice for buttermilk.  This time, I used real buttermilk, and what a difference it made–the flavor was incredible!

Beard doesn’t specify how much buttermilk to use, just “enough…to make a soft dough.”  I used the entire 8 ounce container, along with an extra half teaspoon of water, to get the right consistency.

I divided the dough in half, rolled each half into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, and cut the circle into quarters.

I cooked the dough wedges on the griddle on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  They developed a nice crunchy layer outer layer and were soft and chewy on the inside.  As recommended by Beard, we ate them hot, split, and spread with jam (although it was strawberry instead of raspberry).

How did they taste?  Like an English muffin with buttermilk flavor and amazing texture, only much, much better.


Potato Scones
May 8, 2011

by stacy
Published on: May 8, 2011
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After last week’s five-and-half-hour adventure baking Carl Gohs’ Bread, I wanted to bake something easy this Sunday.   Potato Scones fit the bill: no rising time, four ingredients, and a cooking time of five minutes.

Here are the four ingredients: flour, salt, butter, and mashed potatoes.

Potato Scones Ingredients

I think it took longer to make the mashed potatoes than make the actual scones themselves.

After mixing the ingredients to form a dough, I divided it into thirds and rolled each third into a circle.  Then I cut each circle into sixths and cooked the pieces on a griddle.  My first “circle” was more of a square, but the third attempt was somewhat round.

Potato Scones Dough

The scones had an intriguing texture–fluffy but doughy at the same time.  The potato flavor was good, but I would definitely cut the amount of salt down from one teaspoon to a half teaspoon.  Overall, this was quick, easy recipe and would make an interesting side dish.

Potato Scones

Yeast Griddle Cakes or Pancakes
April 15, 2011

by stacy
Published on: April 15, 2011
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Since I’m a practicing Catholic, Mike and I have meatless dinners during Lent.  This isn’t a very big deal for us, since at least half of our recipes are meatless anyway.  However, Lent does give me an excuse to make one of my favorite meatless meals–breakfast for dinner.  We very rarely make big breakfasts like French toast or omelets.  In my opinion, these make excellent dinner options.  Mike is skeptical, but he humors me.

Tonight’s dinner was Yeast Griddle Cakes.  Here are the ingredients:

Yeast Griddle Cakes Ingredients

The recipe calls for making the starter the night before.  Since I was making these for dinner, I began the starter in the morning.

Yeast Griddle Cakes

The batter was a little lumpy, and my pancakes were asymmetrical and not very aesthetically pleasing.  However, these were the absolute best pancakes that I’ve ever tasted.  The starter gives them a slight sourdough flavor, and they were incredibly light and fluffy.  After tasting these, I don’t think that I will ever be able to go back to pancake mix!

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About the Baker
I'm a paralegal living and working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Besides baking, blogging, and eating bread, I love knitting and enjoying the Minnesota outdoors. My husband, Mike, is the Brooks Bakes Bread website developer, bread photographer, and chief taste tester.
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