The magic of cooking with fire is that it allows you to slow down and let all your senses interact with the process. You’re forced to be more intimate with the ingredients and the heat source that is transforming them.
Whether you’re watching with hawk eyes for the edges of your rosti to crisp, waiting for the aromas of a freshly charred chilli to infuse in warm oil, pressing the thigh of a saffron-butter-smothered chicken to monitor its progress or listening for just the right amount of sizzle as your crumpet batter is poured into the pan, there is a deep connection to be had with what you are cooking, eating and sharing with others.
These crumpets use a sourdough starter, which you can make from scratch if you don't have access to one. Simply mix 100ml flour and 100ml water in a jar and cover with a cloth so that bugs can’t contaminate it. Depending on how warm it is where you are, the mixture will become active after three to seven days, at which point it’s ready to go. It will become bubbly, have a pleasant, fruity type of smell and should taste slightly acidic. You’ll know if it has gone bad! There’s a wealth of great information online on how to maintain your starter once it’s active.