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. —Izy Hossack
- Prep time 2 hours
- Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
- Makes 12 crumpets (depending on size)
water (1/2 cup cold + 1/4 cup boiling)
sugar (any kind) or honey
package active dried yeast
1 2/3 cups
all purpose flour
neutral 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 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 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.) 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-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 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 though 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!