Small Batch

How to Make Crumpets at Home

By • April 4, 2014 • 33 Comments

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: If you ever thought crumpet was just a funny word for English muffin, think again. Izy Hossack from Top With Cinnamon is illuminating the difference between the two breakfast breads and sharing a recipe for a proper British crumpet. 

Although crumpets and English muffins are often mistaken for the same thing, they are two completely different breakfast breads. 

English muffins, made from a dough which is rolled, cut, browned on the stove, and finished in the oven, have a light, soft texture. Crumpets, on the other hand, are made with a batter that’s akin to what you'd get if you mixed bread dough and pancake batter and left out the eggs. This batter is then cooked in a frying pan using ring molds until tiny bubbles appear. Each crumpet gets flipped and browned on the other side, resulting in a chewy texture and a crisp outer layer. 

More: Smear your crumpets with a generous pat of homemade honey and tea compound butter.

One more important difference: English muffins are split and toasted before being eaten. Crumpets are toasted whole (traditionally over a fire, but a toaster is just as good) and eaten warm, normally slathered with salted butter and honey or marmite. The cratered surface means that whatever you top them with permeates the whole crumpet, creating melty pockets of goodness.

Homemade Crumpets

Makes 10 to 12 crumpets 

1/2 cup milk 
3/4 cups water (1/2 cup cold + 1/4 cup boiling)
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1/4-ounce package of active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
Vegetable oil, for greasing the rings and pan

Stir together the milk, water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit everything sit for 5 minutes.

Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture, then beat the batter together with a wooden spoon until it’s completely smooth, about 5 minutes. (The mixture will be similar in texture to a thick pancake batter or a sourdough starter.)

  

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours. The batter will look bubbly when it’s ready.

In a small bowl, stir together the baking powder, baking soda, and water. Immediately pour this into the large bowl of batter and stir until it’s completely combined. Set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place.

  

Meanwhile, use a pastry brush to grease a few chef rings with vegetable oil. Lightly oil a large non-stick frying pan and place the ring molds in the pan, leaving some space between them. (I fit two 3-inch and two 2-inch rings into my pan.)

Set the pan over a medium-low heat.

Scoop the batter into the rings in the pan. (I used about 1/4 cup of batter for the 3-inch rings and a little less for the 2-inch rings.)

Cook the batter in the rings for 8 to 15 minutes, until the surface of the batter looks opaque, dry, and quite bubbly. Don't be alarmed if the batter starts to pull away from the sides of the rings.

Use a butter knife to loosen the crumpets from the rings. Then, remove the rings from the pan using kitchen tongs and use a spatula to flip the crumpets. Cook the crumpets until golden brown on both sides. 

Serve hot, straight from the pan, or let them cool on a wire rack and reheat them later in the toaster. Eat warm with salted butter, honey, and a strong cup of English tea. 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Izy Hossack

Jump to Comments (33)

Tags: small batch, how-to & DIY, crumpets, breakfast, british, english, tea, english muffins, bread, yeast, brunch

Comments (33)

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8 months ago Felicity Botwinik

If you live in the U.S.A. you can buy crumpets at Trader Joe's. They are as good as any you can buy in the U.K., but not as good as home made ones.

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8 months ago laurasmess

These look incredible Izzy! I've never made homemade crumpets but being English, I adore them and I've been eating them since I was tiny. I always assumed that they were ridiculously difficult to make. You've taught me otherwise... definitely going to try this on the weekend! x

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9 months ago beejay45

Are crumpets what you use with clotted cream and jam, or is that scones. Because these look like they'd be delish with CC&J.
Thanks for the recipe and showing how really easily these can be made.

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9 months ago Brian Arnopp

Would tend to eat clotted cream with scones but can't see any reason why you wouldn't put jam on them. Come to think of it I have put crunchy peanut butter and salami (not at the same time :)) on them too.

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9 months ago Angela Cammack

Do you have any suggestions for finishing these if I don't have chef rings?

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

You can use a tuna can! Remove the top and bottom of a tuna can using a can opener. Remove the label and rinse the can thoroughly.Dry it off then use it like you would the chef's rings. Otherwise simply shaped, metal cookie cutters will work if they're deep enough.

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9 months ago Rebeccah

Izy, that's a really great tip!

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9 months ago Rosanne Marks

Can you explain why baking powder and baking soda are included in the recipe since there is yeast as well?

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

The yeast is what gives the crumpets flavour and some rising power. The baking powder and baking soda are added to lift the batter even more and create the tunnels and holes in the crumpets.

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9 months ago Brian Arnopp

Crumpets are good with a couple of slices of cheddar on top

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9 months ago Rebeccah

And a fried egg with plenty of freshly milled pepper...

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9 months ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's assistant editor.

Wow, I love the idea of a savory crumpet!

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9 months ago Brian Arnopp

can put bovri or marmite on it as well as egg and cheese...

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9 months ago Rebeccah

Hi Izy,

As a Brit crumpets are in my blood, I adore them. Do you know how I could make them dairy free? Do you think they would work with soy/rice/almond milk or is something else better all together?

Has anyone else experimented with this?

Thanks!

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

Hi Rebeccah,
I'm not sure about soy or rice milk because I've never used them but I think that almond milk would be fine in this recipe!

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9 months ago Rebeccah

Great, thank you!

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9 months ago Alice

Do you think this could be made with gluten-free flour mix? Just love a good crumpet but trying to go gluten free... :)

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

I've never worked with gluten-free flour mixes and I know that different brands are made up of different flours so I can't really advise too much about it, sorry! If you've had success substituting a certain mix for flour with other yeasted recipes then it may work. The crumpet batter is sort of like a pancake batter so I guess that it is possible that it'd work if you'd had success using the gluten-free mix for pancake recipes.

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9 months ago Teri

The June 2014 issue of Cooks Illustrated has a longish article about making a yeasted pizza dough with gluten-free flour mixes. Lots of helpful information about reasons why things work or not, and types of gluten-free flours available.

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9 months ago Fairmount_market

Could this recipe be adjusted so that the first rising happens overnight in a refrigerator? That would be very convenient for making fresh crumpets for breakfast.

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

I don't see why you couldn't try that!

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9 months ago Steven McDowall

I've done this many of times (I'm a crumpet fiend) and the results work very very well -- in fact, I'd say even better because of the slow fermentation/retardation you get a ton of extra flavor. Just make sure to let it come up to temp. again (1 hour) before continuing ...

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

Great! Thanks for the tip Steven

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9 months ago Ashley McLaughlin

Gorgeous!! I've never eaten a crumpet but can tell I'd be a fan. :)

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

Thanks Ashley! haha I think you would be

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9 months ago kkimberly

This makes me so sad, you can buy 6 of them for less than £1 in the UK (not as good as these of course but crumpets of all varieties are amazing).
Go make these RIGHT NOW!

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

Crumpets are the BEST. I don't know why they're so elusive outside of the UK

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9 months ago Austin

At what stage do you use the boiling water?

I can't wait to try this recipe out this weekend!

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

you mix the water with the baking powder and soda, then mix that into the batter just before cooking it.

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9 months ago Austin

Thanks for the clarification - I guess I was confused as to why the recipe called for a 1/4 cup of boiling water as well as an additional 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Is the total amount you mix with the baking soda and power 1/4 + 1Tbsp of boiling water?

Thanks.

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

ahh I see! The 1/4 cup of boiling water is mixed with the cold water to make lukewarm water which is added to the batter. The extra tablespoon is what gets mixed with the raising agents so that it's easier to mix them into the batter

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9 months ago Austin

Excellent! Thanks so much, I love crumpets and look forward to making them soon.

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9 months ago Izy Hossack

no problem!