What is a Crumpet?
Unless you live in the United Kingdom or have traveled to that part of the world, you likely haven’t encountered a crumpet. Most of my friends and family knew that crumpets were served with tea (more on tea and crumpets from a British expat in another post), but had never stopped to ask, “What is a crumpet?”
A crumpet is a type of bread most closely related to the English muffin. Crumpets taste very similar to English muffins and even look like them. The difference is that crumpets are a bit lighter than English muffins. While they have a crust on the outside, their interiors are airy, spongy, and yeasty – and you don’t cut them open.
How to Serve Crumpets
To serve crumpets, toast them and then top with your favorite savory or sweet topping. Here are some of my favorites:
- Lyle’s golden syrup (shown in the photo). If you’ve never had golden syrup, you are missing out – big time. Read my post on Shoofly Pie Bars where I explain the difference between golden syrup, molasses, and blackstrap molasses.
- Clotted cream and jam. If you are ambitions, you can make homemade clotted cream and homemade jam.
- Honey and butter.
I made four different crumpet recipes before writing this post. In the end, I found a recipe that I really liked. However, crumpet purists may object to the fact that my crumpets don’t have enough holes – traditional crumpets are quite holey. None of the recipes that I tried produced crumpets with as many holes as the store-bought variety. For a holier crumpet, I would suggest adding slightly more milk (maybe upping the milk quantity to 2 3/4 cups). If you try this recipe, please share in the comments how much milk you added and if you were happy with the holes.
The crumpet recipe that I am sharing below is from Helen of Food Stories. Although I have barely changed the recipe, I have written the recipe steps in my own words with my own tips.
What Is a Crumpet? Plus, a Simple Crumpet Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups warm milk about 110 F (as noted above, you may want to increase the quantity slightly to produce a more holey end result)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Mix 1 cup of the warm milk and all of the sugar in a small bowl.
Sprinkle yeast on top of the milk and let sit for ten minutes.
While you are waiting, mix flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl.
Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm milk to the flour mixture and stir to combine. If you've made bread before and are used to a thick dough that you can knead, don't expect that from this batter. This will be a thick liquid, almost like a milkshake (don't drink it - yuck!).
Cover the batter and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat (I used setting 3 on my range, but yours may differ).
Butter the insides of your crumpet rings and place them on the skillet.
Fill each crumpet ring halfway.
After four minutes, you should be able to remove the rings using tongs. You can wait longer, but the longer I waited, the more the crumpets stuck to the rings.
Stare at the crumpets. It's fun! You'll notice bubbles forming and popping. It's like a trip to Yellowstone, but much cheaper. After about five minutes, you won't see any more bubbles forming or popping and you'll be able to tap the tops of the crumpets and hear a sound (meaning the tops have hardened a bit). It's now time to flip them!
Some people don't flip their crumpets at all, but I like to flip mine and cook for just a minute. It will give what will become the crumpets' tops an ever-so-slight browning.
Serve immediately with Lyle's golden syrup (shown in the photo), clotted cream and jam, or honey and butter; or cool, cover, and toast before serving.
We recently played a game of Cupcake Roulette on the Cupcake Project Facebook page. Kaitlin from Kay-Kery won, and I was tasked with making a cupcake inspired by something on that site. When I saw the crumpet recipe, I knew immediately that I would be making crumpets. The crumpet cupcake is coming soon!
How to Make English Muffins
If all of this crumpet talk inspires you to make English Muffins, you might want to check out Kristin’s post over at Dine and Dish on how to make English Muffins.