Buttermilk Pyclets/Pikelets

Posted on May 2, 2014

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Things{we}make - Buttermilk Pyclets

Toasters are a great invention aren’t they?

Except when your crumpet won’t fit in because it’s too wide.

Or your bread sticks out the top, because it’s too tall.

Or when the scotch pancake squidges through the bars and catches fire and you try and get it out with a knife and it shorts out the electric and you think you might have died, but you haven’t…it’s just all the lights have gone off and the smoke alarm is squealing.

Dualit on things{we}make

Just me?

Although me and my toaster have fun and games at times, I do love it. Our friends bought it as a wedding present 15 years ago. 15 years! Crikey.

It’s an old-school, 2-slice Dualit, and like a vintage car and it’s craggy owner, we have grown to know each other’s quirky ways. That you must toast the first two slices for one and a half (minutes? eons? I’m not sure….one and half somethings anyway) and then subsequent slices only need one ‘minute’, as by then it has cranked up to full power.

Tall bread you must flip halfway through to make sure the sticky-out top gets toasted.

Muffins. Oh, muffins! They must be sliced in two and then a small fillet must be expertly sliced from the middle by Ed, master of the filleting procedure, to ensure each half is not too wide.

Ditto for bagels.

Anything very sweet and squishy: toaster waffles, scotch pancakes etc, must be placed towards the back of the slot and shot out of the mechanism with a surprise flick of the wrist to save them from being concertinaed into a sticky, baked-to-the-bars mess, to be prised out later with a wooden skewer.

Dualit Toaster on things{we}make

It’s pièce de résistance though, is when you time things perfectly; the poached egg is en pointe, the tea is just brewed and you are poised with your buttery knife, you go to take the toast out and…it’s just bread. Slightly older bread than when you put it in, mind, but bread all the same.

Unbeknown to you, yesterday someone, SOMEONE, made a cake. They unplugged the Dualit and plugged in the Kenwood. What they didn’t do was plug the toaster back in again. The toaster has been clicking away in its usual clockwork manner, making you think it was making toast, but no. There is no toast. Just anger, bitterness and slightly dry bread. We now have a ‘never unplug the Dualit’ rule. It’s the only way not to drive yourself insane of a lunch time.

Pyclets on things{we}make

Sorry – I digress. I was saying how much I love it because it has stuck with us, through house moves and kitchen (un)renovations for 15 years, it looks shiny and efficient and it’s never actually failed to do its job: browning bread products. Which in these days of built-in obsolescence, where toasters and kettles seem to only last a year, is pretty amazing.

What is also rather good is that I have discovered that a homemade pyclet fits in just perfectly. No sticking out the top or squishing through the bars – giving you the joy of a crumpet without leaving you feeling stabby.

So now I make pyclets. Toaster friendly, easy as pie…Pyclets.

Pyclets on things{we}makePyclets on things{we}make

Never heard of a pyclet? I assumed you all knew about them, but it appears that they are really very local to Derby. Very similar to a crumpet they are thinner and can be any size you like as they are not constrained by a cooking ring. A yeasted pancake, I guess.

I rather love the process of making them. As they cook and the yeast does its magical work, bubbles appear which burst open to create little craters across the surface. These craters are perfect for soaking up butter and golden syrup or if you prefer…a bit of dippy egg yolk.

Buttermilk Pyclets on things{we}make

If you are eating them fresh from the pan, make them as big as you like. Otherwise, don’t make them wider than a slice of bread…or they might not fit in the toaster.

Things{we}make – Buttermilk Pyclets

Makes 10 crumpet sized or 4-5 tea-plate size pyclets

250g Plain Flour
3-4g Quick Action Yeast (approx ½ a sachet)
125ml Buttermilk (½ a tall carton)*
225ml Hot Water
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking Powder

*If you haven’t got buttermilk you can swap out the water and buttermilk above and just make them with 175ml hot water and 175ml milk (350ml liquid in total). I like the savoury twang and richness that the buttermilk gives. If the batter isn’t spoonable (my buttermilk was quite runny) add a dash more water.

Mix together the flour and the yeast in a bowl.
Mix the buttermilk and hot water in a jug and check that it’s luke warm.
Whisk the milky water into the flour.
Cover with cling film and leave to bubble away for 1 or up to 3 hours.
Whisk in the salt and baking powder.
Heat a lightly oiled large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
Pour in large spoonfuls of batter for small pyclets or a ladle full for larger ones.
When little holes appear in the bubbles all over the top, flip ’em.
Cook until lightly browned.

Eat fresh from the pan or save them to toast over the next few days.

If you don’t fancy making your own you can get them in from The Derby Pyclet Company. They make and sell their wares in Derby’s Guildhall – which is where we used to buy them from a little wooden cart, back in the olden days… Jeez, how old does that make me sound!

If you fancy a shiny toaster, ours is this one: Dualit 2 Slice Toaster Stainless Steel.