English are something I don’t eat often, but as a treat they are undoubtedly my favourite of all breakfasts. When I was young I loved them smothered in butter and golden syrup, these days I prefer a drizzle of rich berry coulis with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top. I think it’s something about the way sweet runny meltable toppings ooze into the pores then soak into the spongy honeycomb inside that makes me find them so utterly irresistible, but they also work well with savoury toppings . If you have never had a crumpet before, the best way I can describe them is a cross between a pancake and an English muffin, but that doesn’t really do them justice. They are made with and , but the dough/batter has a consistency similar to a pancake. Baking powder is added at the last minute to create the characteristic pores. Their shape comes from being poured into a shallow ring in the pan/griddle.  You can eat them straight from the pan or leave them a little underdone and toast later. How you choose to eat your crumpet is very much personal preference. Some people like them crispy, fairly flat and highly toasted. I like them on the underdone side, with a crispy surface but a soft springy honeycomb centre. Fresh crumpets are so much better than shop bought ones, which I find are often rubbery. The only downside is the hour waiting time for the batter/dough so it’s best to either plan to eat them as brunch or make and freeze/store ahead of time.

Tips for Crumpet making

  • Rings are a must have to make a traditional crumpet, without them you are making a pikelet. The rings are cheap and are sold in most kitchenware stores for shaping eggs or pancakes.  Look for ones at least 2cm deep. If you don’t want to buy rings, shallow tin cans, such as those used for Tuna or pineapple rings, with the bottoms and tops removed work just as well.
  • Plan to make a practice crumpet first so you can adjust consistency and depth of fill.
  • Batter consistency must be right. Too thick and the bubbles won’t escape up to the surface, too thin and it will leak out under the rings. You are aiming for a runny batter. Alter by adding more flour or water if needed.
  • Add warm rather than cold water and milk as colder liquid will lead to smaller holes (see methods Step 2.)
  • Be accurate with baking powder measurements, too much and your crumpets will taste like soap
  • Don’t pour your crumpets more than about 2cm deep or they won’t cook through (without burning the bottom)
  • Make sure they are cooked at a medium heat. Temperatures too high will lead to a burnt bottom and raw top, too cool and you end up with flat pancake style crumpets.

 

Traditional Crumpet Recipe

We have tried many , but now always use this one, adapted from the ‘River Cottage Bread HandBook’. It  makes about 10 crumpets, depending on the size of your rings.

Equipment

  • Metal rings
  • Spoon
  • Heavy bottomed frying pan/griddle
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula for removing from pan

 

 

Ingredients

  • 450g bread flour (all-purpose plain white flour can also be used but leads to less honeycombing in the centre)
  • 275ml full cream milk
  • 275ml water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil or butter to grease pan and rings
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Methods

Step 1. Weigh out the flour into a bowl and mix in the yeast.

Step 2. Warm up the milk and water to lukewarm (not too hot to dip and keep you finger in it), then make a well in the flour and pour the liquid in.

Step 3. Stir the ingredients together to form a thin batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 1 hour.

Step 4. Beat the mixture with a spoon for 5 minutes.

Step 5. Sprinkle over the salt and baking powder and stir the batter thoroughly.

Step 6. Lightly oil or grease a pan and the pan rings and let the pan heat over a low to medium heat.

Step 7. Spoon in an appropriate sized dollop of batter and cook until the top has hardened. Depending on how you like your crumpets, you may want to flip them and cook on the other side. We prefer to leave them underdone, make a big batch then lightly grill the top before eating.

Step 8. Re-grease the rings and go again until the batter is used up.

Graham likes his quite plain with lashings of butter….

I figure if you are having a treat, better to just go all out!


Traditional Homemade Crumpets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious traditional homemade crumpets
Author:
Cuisine:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 450g bread flour (all-purpose plain white flour can also be used)
  • 275ml full cream milk
  • 275ml water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Vegetable oil or butter to grease pan and metal rings
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flour into a bowl and mix in the yeast.
  2. Warm up the milk and water to lukewarm(not too hot to dip and keep you finger in it) then make a well in the flour and pour the liquid in.
  3. Stir the ingredients together to form a thin batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 1 hour.
  4. Beat the mixture with a spoon for 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle over the salt and baking powder and stir the batter thoroughly.
  6. Lightly oil or grease a pan and the pan rings and let the pan heat over a low to medium heat.
  7. Spoon in an appropriate sized dollop of batter and cook until the top has hardened, then either flip and brown the other side or leave undercooked to toast later.
  8. Re-grease the rings and repeat until the batter is used up.

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2 Comments

  1. Heya
    we been having a (store bought) crumpet frenzy lately and it’d be great to make our own! However, I’ve read your recipe several times and can’t see the amount of baking soda to add? Please can you let me know?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi there, it’s 1 teaspoon of baking powder rather than baking soda sorry for the confusion. Be sure to add it just before you cook them rather than before leaving the dough/batter to stand. Best of luck with the recipe!

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