British

How to Make Crumpets at Home

April  4, 2014

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. 

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

35 Comments

Carolyn P. June 18, 2017
After almost 3 hours these look and taste nothing like a crumpet. What a waste of time.
 
M L. January 1, 2017
Made these and they turned out great! Well worth the effort. Only thing I did different was added 1 tsp sugar to the warm water & yeast and let sit a few minutes before adding the other ingredients. This recipe made 27 crumpets which I will freeze most of for toasting later.<br />
 
Felicity B. April 14, 2014
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.
 
laurasmess April 14, 2014
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
 
beejay45 April 11, 2014
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.<br />Thanks for the recipe and showing how really easily these can be made.
 
Brian A. April 11, 2014
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.
 
Angela C. April 10, 2014
Do you have any suggestions for finishing these if I don't have chef rings?
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 10, 2014
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.
 
Rebeccah April 11, 2014
Izy, that's a really great tip!
 
Rosanne M. April 10, 2014
Can you explain why baking powder and baking soda are included in the recipe since there is yeast as well?
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 10, 2014
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.
 
Brian A. April 9, 2014
Crumpets are good with a couple of slices of cheddar on top
 
Rebeccah April 9, 2014
And a fried egg with plenty of freshly milled pepper...
 
Sarah J. April 9, 2014
Wow, I love the idea of a savory crumpet!
 
Brian A. April 9, 2014
can put bovri or marmite on it as well as egg and cheese...
 
Rebeccah April 9, 2014
Hi Izy,<br /><br />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?<br /><br />Has anyone else experimented with this?<br /><br />Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 10, 2014
Hi Rebeccah,<br />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!
 
Rebeccah April 11, 2014
Great, thank you!
 
Alice April 9, 2014
Do you think this could be made with gluten-free flour mix? Just love a good crumpet but trying to go gluten free... :)
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 9, 2014
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.
 
Teri April 9, 2014
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.
 
Fairmount_market April 5, 2014
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.
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 5, 2014
I don't see why you couldn't try that!
 
Steven M. April 10, 2014
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 ...
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 10, 2014
Great! Thanks for the tip Steven
 
Ashley M. April 4, 2014
Gorgeous!! I've never eaten a crumpet but can tell I'd be a fan. :)
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 4, 2014
Thanks Ashley! haha I think you would be
 
kkimberly April 9, 2014
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).<br />Go make these RIGHT NOW!
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 9, 2014
Crumpets are the BEST. I don't know why they're so elusive outside of the UK
 
Austin April 4, 2014
At what stage do you use the boiling water? <br /><br />I can't wait to try this recipe out this weekend!
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 4, 2014
you mix the water with the baking powder and soda, then mix that into the batter just before cooking it.
 
Austin April 4, 2014
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?<br /><br />Thanks.
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 4, 2014
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
 
Austin April 4, 2014
Excellent! Thanks so much, I love crumpets and look forward to making them soon.
 
Author Comment
Izy H. April 4, 2014
no problem!