Yield: 6 Servings
MUFFINS: Wash, peel and boil the potatoes, rub through a colander, add the water (just warm enough to bear the hand in it without discomfort); then dissolve the yeast and salt in it, and stir in sufficient flour to make a moist paste. Beat it well in a deep bowl and then clear off the paste from the hands; cover over with a clean cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place. When it has well risen, and is light and spongy, turn it out on the table, dredge over with flour, and then divide it off into pieces about 3 oz in weight, roll them up into round shapes, and set them on a wooden tray, well dusted with flour to prove. When light enough, see that the hot plate is hot, and then carefully transfer the muffins from the tray, one at a time, using a thin tin slice for the purpose, taking particular care not to knock out the proof or the muffins will be spoilt. When they have been properly cooked on one side, turn over with the slice and cook the other side. When the muffins are done, brush off the flour, and lay them on a clean clothe or sieve to cool. To toast them, divide the edge of the muffin all round by pulling it open to the depth of about 1 inch with the fingers.
Put it on a toasting fork and hold it before a clear fire till one side is nicely browned, but not burnt; turn, and toast it on the other. Do not toast them too quickly, otherwise the middle of the muffin will not be warmed through. When done, divide them by pulling them open; butter them slighlty on both sides, put them together again, and cut them into halves.
Pile on a hot dish and send quickly to table. Time: 25 to 30 minutes to bake. Sufficient for about 2 dozen muffins.
CRUMPETS: Proceed exactly the same as directed for Muffins (above), but stir in only half the quantity of flour used for them, so that the mixture is more of a batter than a sponge. Cover over, and leave for ½ an hour.
At the end of that time take a large wooden spoon and well beat up the batter, leave in the spoon, cover over, and leave for another ½ an hour.
Then give the batter another good beat up. This process must be repeated 3 times with the intervals. When completed, see that the hot plate is quite hot, lay out some crumpet rings rubbed over inside with a little clean lard on a baking tin, and pour in sufficient of the batter to make the crumpets.
When cooked on one side, turn over with a palette-knife, and when done take off on to a clean cloth to cool. Muffins and crumpets should always be served on separate dishes, and both toasted and served as quickly as possible. Time: about 20 minutes to cook. Sufficient for about 2 dozen crumpets.
From: Mrs. Beeton's All About Cookery, Ward, Lock & Co., Ltd., London & Melbourne, (circa 1890's)
Shared by June Hoffman, 7/93
From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini