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.
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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.
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.
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.
Passionate about cakes, roasted vegetables and anything involving Maldon salt or maple syrup. Izy is a student living in London, UK who spends her spare time blogging and rambling on topwithcinnamon.com