When Brooke and I were in Dallas this weekend for a wedding, we wandered into a Williams-Sonoma store in the mall and found egg rings. These make perfectly circular eggs that fit on an English muffin. They are 3" diameter rings designed to work on the stove top with little handles that allow you to manipulate them without the threat of burning yourself. While I am sure that they work quite well with eggs, I wanted them for baking instead.
I purchased them and when I got back home I looked up a crumpet recipe on the Internet (this modern technology is great for this kind of thing). I made a quick run to the grocery store for yeast and some all-purpose flour and was in business.
Crumpets look a lot like English muffins sans nooks and crannies. They are made from a batter rather than a dough, hence the need for the rings. They require a lot more time to prepare than biscuits which is probably why they are not terribly popular. I tend to have them with tea and jam and until now have had to buy them imported from England in specialty shops. As you can imagine, they aren't all that great after coming across the pond and waiting on the shelf until I can buy them.
Crumpets are actually quite easy to make. All you need is water, sugar, yeast, flour, salt, baking soda, and milk. First you activate the yeast by adding it to the warm water and sugar mixture. This has to spend time "activating" Once the yeast solution is all bubbly, you mix in the dry ingredients and the milk. This whole batter has to then rest for about 30 minutes.
Towards the end of the rest period you preheat the pan on a fairly low heat with the rings (I spray both pan and rings with cooking spray to make it easier). When you are ready, you spoon the batter into the rings and let them cook for about 12 minutes on the first side. When this time has elapsed remove the rings and then flip them like pancakes to cook the top for about 2 minutes (the top will be brown).
This whole process takes a good 90 minutes with my four rings so its not a quick meal by any means, but then again, anything you do with yeast is going to take quite a while.
Once they are cooked you can have yourself a nice cup of tea with crumpets and your favorite jam.