WHO: Dr Marty's Crumpets won't cure your arthritis or clear up your cough, but they're healing in a comfort-carb way. Martin Beck is a chef by way of MoVida who fell into the crumpet business in 2013 while looking for a change. He now supplies wholemeal and original crumpets to about 80 Melbourne cafés and restaurants including Tivoli Road Bakery and Spring Street Grocer.
WHAT: Using a simple mix of Laucke organic flour from South Australia (a tip-off from Tivoli Road Bakery's Michael James), yeast, Mount Zero's olive oil and pink lake salt, baking powder, raw sugar and water, Beck and his team of six (including his wife, Selma) hand-ladle 1000 crumpets a day onto flat-top grills, six days a week. The result is a small-batch crumpet that's tall and sturdy but still soft, pocked with plenty of yeasted bubbles that await melted butter. Using a machine to dollop out the batter would help Beck scale up production, but he's convinced this would compromise his product's light, airy consistency. "They'd just lose all their texture and body," he says.
WHY: "People love them because we use really nice flour, but they're also very neutral," says Beck. "They're a great vessel for eating more of your favourite topping." At markets he serves them toasted with peanut butter, jam, Vegemite or cultured butter, but many venues present them as a savoury option; MoVida has been known to serve mini bar-snack versions with Manchego custard and shavings of fresh black truffle.
WHERE: Dr Marty's Crumpets are stocked at cafés, restaurants and grocery stores across Melbourne, about $10 for six.
For stockists, see drmartyscrumpets.com.au.