Nothing beats fresh, toasted crumpets on a drizzly English day. Find out just how easy they are to make below.
English muffins v crumpets
One of the most exciting things about writing a food blog is that people from all around the world stop by to try my recipes. When catering for a worldwide audience it can sometimes be difficult to know how to pitch a recipe or even what to call it. Should I refer to aubergines as eggplants? Ice lollies or popsicles?
My UK readers are probably very familiar with the humble crumpet. But it seems that in the US and further afield, crumpets are often mistaken for English muffins. If there’s one thing you take away from this post it’s that crumpets and English muffins are nothing alike! Let me explain…
English muffins are made from a dough which is rolled, cut, and then cooked on the hob (stove) before being finished off in the oven. They are light and fluffy in texture and have a crispy outer crust. Usually they are cut in half before being slathered in butter and often topped with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. They are delicious!
Although crumpets are also cooked on the hob they are actually made with a yeast based batter which is poured into circular rings in a piping hot pan. Bubbles appear on their surface making them almost sponge like. They are much more chewy in texture than an English muffin and are perfect for soaking up butter, honey and any other topping you desire. What do they have in common with English muffins? They are also delicious! But that’s probably where the similarities end.
As with most traditional English foodstuffs crumpets are old. Supposedly recipes for crumpets go back as far as the 1300’s though they were probably around long before that!
When doing a little bit of research on crumpets I came across these two hilarious “facts” from Wikipedia about crumpets which had me giggling…
Crumpet is also used as British slang for a particularly sexually attractive woman.
In Australian slang it is part of the expression: “not worth a crumpet”, meaning that somebody or something is useless.
To say that crumpet is British slang is probably a bit of an overstatement and I don’t think most people would have a clue these days if you called them a crumpet! It’s actually cockney rhyming slang (crumpet = strumpet) so if you fancy trying out this new lingo you’re probably best saving it for the older generations in East London!
But enough about crumpet slang.
Why have I taken the time to cook and share this ancient recipe when Warburtons make tasty ones I can just whack in the toaster?
Well I wanted to show you just how easy it is to make fresh crumpets at home. Most people will only ever have had store bought crumpets but I think that it’s important we know how to make simple staple foods like crumpets! Quite simply they are cheap to make and delicious so why opt for convenience when you could have a much tastier product for no extra cost?
To make a batch of crumpets at home you’ll just need flour, milk and yeast. You can make them in big batches and freeze them until you want to serve them. Just toast them until they are warmed through. It couldn’t be simpler than that!
What you spread on your crumpet is really a matter for you and you alone. I am a bit of a purist and only ever go for butter and a bit of salt.
Other popular toppings include:
- Honey; and
- Chocolate spread.
That’s right, crumpets are neither sweet nor savoury so you can top them with ANYTHING you want. I even had an amazing crumpet stacked high with slow cooked short rib, poached egg and hollandaise the other day it was epic!
If you want more crumpet inspiration check out these wonderful bloggers:
- Lucy from Supergolden Bakes who has 3 sweet topping ideas
- Jemma from Celery and Cupcakes who has a fantastic recipe for Cinnamon Eggy Crumpets
- Emily from A Mummy Too has lots of crumpet recipes but I love her meze inspired crumpets!
- Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary has come up with the epicly named “Hipster Cowboy” crumpet.
But before you start getting too carried away planning what you want to top your fresh crumpets with you’re going to need to actually make them. Print out the recipe below and get yourself to the kitchen!
- 350ml milk
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp (7g) fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- Gently heat 300ml of the milk until luke-warm. (You should be able to put your finger in it and not get burnt!)
- Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl and stir in the milk slowly until you have a smooth batter (a bit like a pancake batter).
- Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place to rise for 1hr-1hr 30 mins or until doubled in size and bubbly.
- Add the salt (and a little more milk if the batter is very thick) and stir.
- Lightly oil the insides of 4 x 9cm metal crumpet rings or metal cooks’ rings (sometimes called egg rings).
- Put the rings into a large non-stick frying pan and place over a low-medium heat, add a little oil in the middle of each ring.
- Spoon the batter into the rings until they are roughly half full.
- Let the crumpets cook slowly for about 10-15 mins or until the bubbles have popped, the tops have set and the crumpets are pulling away from the sides of the rings.
- Carefully take the rings out of the pan and transfer the crumpets to a baking sheet and place under the grill (See note 1).
- In the meantime, repeat the process above with the remaining batter.
- Once the crumpets have been toasted under the grill serve with your favourite toppings!
1. If you want to freeze your crumpets, remove them from the frying pan and allow them to cool completely. They can then be placed in a freezer bag and toasted at a later date.
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