September 6, 1620
In 1608, a small congregation of Northamptonshire churchgoers decided they’d had enough of the Church of England. To them, it was no less corrupt than the Catholic Church had been, and the group planned a move to Holland. The Separatists (or Saints, as they called themselves) would reside in the town of Leyden.
The Saints did find the freedom to worship as they chose, but the rest of life in Holland was not ideal. The Saints could only find jobs with meager pay; being an immigrant was not easy. Worse yet, the lifestyle was just a bit too free and easy for this crowd, and it was creating conflict as the Saints tried to raise their children amid all the heathens.
William Bradford, the leader of the Saints, determined that it was time to find a new place to call home. They needed a place free from government, from sinning, and from those cosmopolitan ways that influenced their children. The group returned to London where the King gave them the go ahead to break away from the Church of England, as long as they were peaceful about it.
By August of 1620, around 40 of the Saints (together with a number of “Strangers”) set sail, following their dreams and leaving England far behind…for a couple of weeks. Two ships had left port, the Mayflower and the Speedwell, the latter of the two taking on water almost immediately.
Returning to England briefly, some passengers ditched the effort and went home to their familiar tea and crumpets. The remainder packed themselves into the hold of the Mayflower, setting sail from Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620. Six weeks after climbing aboard the ship for the first the, the Saints were on their way to the New World.
Crumpets for High Tea
1/2 cup warm water (105° – 115°)
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups milk
In a large bowl, stir the sugar or honey into the warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Grease a griddle or frying pan and the crumpet rings or cookie cutters. Place the rings on the cooking surface and preheat all. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and let it sit for about half an hour in a warm place.
Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter into each 3″ ring and cook over medium low heat until set, about 10 minutes. (Avoid cooking them too quickly.) The top should be full of holes when they are ready to turn.
Remove the rings from the crumpets, turn, and brown the other side, if desired, for a minute or so. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Makes 16 crumpets.