Author Notes: Although crumpets and English muffins are often mistaken to be the same thing, they are two completely different bready breakfast goods. English muffins are made from a dough which is rolled, cut, browned on the stove and finished in the oven - the resulting rolls have a light, soft texture. Crumpets on the other hand are made with a batter, akin to what you'd expect if you mixed bread dough and pancake batter (which is pretty much what they are, minus the eggs). The batter is cooked in a frying pan, shaped into rounds by chefs' rings, until covered with tiny bubbles then flipped and browned on the other side. They have a chewy texture (due to the high hydration of the batter) and a crisp outer layer.
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 then 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. - Izy Hossack
Makes 10-12 crumpets (depending on size)
- 1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk
- 3/4 cups water (1/2 cup cold + 1/4 cup boiling)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (any kind) or honey
- 1/4 ounce package of active dried yeast
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- neutral oil, for greasing the rings and pan
- Stir together the milk, water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Leave for 5 minutes
- Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Beat together with a wooden spoon until completely smooth - about 5 minutes. (The mixture will be similar in texture to a thick pancake batter or sourdough starter).
- Cover with a kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours. The batter will look bubbly.
- In a small bowl stir together the baking powder, baking soda and water. Immediately pour this into the large bowl of batter and stir in until completely combined. Set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place.
- Meanwhile grease a few chef rings (I was using 3" and 2" rings - two of each) with vegetable oil using a pastry brush. Lightly oil a large non-stick frying pan and place the chef rings in the pan - I fit 4 rings into my pan. Heat over a medium-low flame.
- Scoop the batter into the rings in the pan - I used about 1/4 cup of batter for the 3" rings and a little less for the 2" rings. Cook the batter in the rings for 8-15 minutes until the surface of the batter looks opaque and dry with quite a few holes in it. The batter may start pulling away from the sides of the rings.
- Use a butter knife to loosen the crumpets from the rings. Remove the rings from the pan using kitchen tongs.
- Flip the crumpets using a spatula and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan to a wire rack.
- Repeat steps 5-8 until all the batter has been used.
- Serve hot from the pan or leave them to cool on the wire rack then reheat in a toaster. Eat warm with salted butter and honey!