Recipe by French Tart
MUCH better than shop bought crumpets, these are easy to make and are a rewarding and comforting meal for breakfast, tea or supper. Crumpets, pikelets, Scotch pancakes and English muffins: all traditional British tea-time treats but what's the difference? That's a good question! They're all cooked on a griddle or bakestone (a heavy-based frying-pan can be used as an alternative) but crumpets and muffins are both yeast-based. To make crumpets, you need egg rings (available from kitchen or hardware shops) or, if you can get them, special crumpet rings, and they need to be well-greased. More about crumpets: crumpets are flattened round breads which are cooked on a griddle or in a skillet. They are closely associated with English society and culture, and are sometimes confused with English muffins. Although the crumpet and the English muffin share some characteristics, the two foods are in fact very different. Classic crumpets have a smooth round bottom, and a top riddled with small holes. They are served fresh from the griddle or toasted, and can be topped with cheese, bacon, honey, jam or clotted cream - although butter is the traditional crumpet topping. Crumpets are never split, unlike English muffins, and they have a slightly spongy texture which absorbs butter remarkably well. The concept of toasting crumpets over a fire is often associated with companionable rainy days in British fiction. For people who are still confused about the differences between crumpets and English muffins, remember that crumpets have a holey top, they are not split, and they are far less "bready" than English muffins tend to be. It is believed that the English muffin may have been invented by someone who was trying to replicate the crumpet, which explains the commonalities between the two. The recipes for English muffins and crumpets are also very different, with crumpets being made from batter and English muffins being made from a dough. Because crumpets are made from a batter, they must be cooked in metal rings called crumpet rings or they will lose their shape.
Top Review by Yankiwi
These are really good. I may have made them a little thinner than in the recipe but our scale broke and we are waiting for a replacement and I don't know if I had the right amount of flour. The recipe made 22 instead of 18 but we like having two for breakfast on Saturday so that was fine. Store bought crumpets in New Zealand have far too much salt so we stopped buying them years ago.
Baking soda is the key--I tried another recipe that used baking powder and didn't allow the second rising. They were okay, but just bread, not crumpets.
- 450 g strong plain flour, sifted (1lb)
- 2.46 ml salt
- 4.92 ml sugar
- 9.85 ml fast-rising active dry yeast (1x7g sachet)
- 300 ml warm milk (1/2 pint)
- 300 ml warm water (1/2 pint)
- 2.46 ml bicarbonate of soda
- vegetable oil
Directions See How It's Made
- Note - you will need 4 crumpet rings, or egg rings or 7.5cm (3in) plain pastry cutters, greased.
- Place the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast making a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and water and mix to give quite a thick batter. Beat well until completely combined and cover with a tea towel or cling film.
- Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it's a light, spongy texture. Stir well to knock out any air, add the bicarbonate of soda and pour into a large jug - mix well and allow to stand for a further 30 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan, or a greased griddle, over a very low heat with a drop of oil or butter. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper to remove excess oil/butter. Sit the greased crumpet rings in the pan and leave to heat up for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings just over halfway up the sides. Leave to cook until lots of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack whilst continuing to cook the remaining crumpets.
- Serve the crumpets warm, generously buttered. If you are making crumpets in advance, then reheat them by toasting lightly on both sides before serving. (Prep time includes rising time for the yeast dough.).