Crumpets … or something similar

15 June 2012

Post image for Crumpets … or something similar

I had a sudden inkling to make crumpets the other day, somewhat unusual because I was only ever a mild fan of these yeasted breads when I was a child. My memories of crumpets are of the shop-bought kind which were round, thick and spongy in texture. Once lightly toasted, a generous slather of butter was obligatory, as was a good dollop of runny honey or jam. As a child, perhaps the allure of crumpets was watching the butter and honey disappear into the many little holes (or, rather, air bubbles) on the surface, which would inevitably end up dribbling down your chin as you took a bite into the warm bread.

Perhaps it is because I’ve had more time to contemplate breakfast lately that crumpets came to mind, and coupled with my New Year’s resolution to bake more with yeast (which I haven’t ventured near since typing up those resolutions), that I committed myself to the task of making them at home.

A quick flick through Bake by Rachel Allen revealed a relatively simple recipe with ingredients that I already had in the fridge and pantry. As with most recipes by Rachel Allen, the instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I felt another successful recipe in progress. That was until it was time to cook the crumpets and confusion set in.

In the introduction to the recipe, Rachel Allen writes, “Split them in half and the butter and jam or apple jelly melts deliciously into all the little holes.” The reference to the “little holes” suggested that what she called “crumpets” was what I had in mind, but to “split them in half” meant that her crumpets were more akin to English muffins. The crumpets from my memory were smooth, flat and golden on one side, and pale and bubbly on the other – no splitting required. Which then got me wondering if perhaps shop-bought crumpets were already split when packaged? I can’t remember.

Minor confusion aside, these crumpets looked a lot like English muffins but were much lighter and fluffier inside. They also do not have as many little holes as the commercial crumpets, but I always wondered if the big manufacturers had some tricks up their sleeves in producing this little specialty bread.

Whilst these crumpets were not quite what I was expecting, they still tasted pretty good and were a welcome addition at the breakfast table. You can eat these crumpets warm, straight from the pan, but I like to lightly toast them to give them a bit more crunch.

This recipe yields about 7 to 10 crumpets, depending on the thickness of your batter and the size of your rings.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Kylie 15 June 2012 at 2:25 pm

Oooooh, they do look rather delicious. I might try them for Sunday breakfast, but I am never sure what yeast to buy here in Switzerland… I think last time I bought some to use in pizza dough, I actually bought baking powder instead… as my dough never puffed up like it should…

Reply

eat, little bird 15 June 2012 at 3:16 pm

LOL! It can be tough if you are not familiar with the local language. Trust me – I’ve made lots of funny mistakes too. Two of the photos above show the powdered yeast that I used in this recipe, and you can usually find these sachets in the baking aisle next to the flour and sugar. Coop sell their home brand and Dr. Oetker brand, whilst Migros have their own brand, but they all work well. I think they come in packets of 3.

As for fresh yeast, they often sell this in little cubes in the refrigerated section near the butter.

If you give these crumpets a try, just keep in mind that they won’t be like the Golden Crumpets you can find in Australia, but they will still taste delicious. I found the recipe to be relatively quick and simple – you’ll just need to set aside an hour for the batter to prove and rise. Good luck!

Reply

Ann 15 June 2012 at 2:36 pm

Oh Tangh, another gorgeous yummy post. Love the idea of a the rings in the pan. Since I love english muffins and once copied a link from Sumi I am willing to try the muffins myself. We can’t buy them over here. But I might try these first I think. And again, lovely pictures and I adore the handwriting things alongside :-))))

Reply

eat, little bird 15 June 2012 at 3:19 pm

I actually bought these rings to make English muffins! Though I haven’t gotten around to that yet – that’s next on my list :-) I think these crumpets are a very close cousin to the English muffin, especially the homemade version. The inside of the bread is a bit more spongey and airy than an English muffin, that’s all. And I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures :-) I didn’t think I would have the patience to do step-by-step photos but this recipe was pretty quick and easy.

Reply

Ann 15 June 2012 at 2:38 pm

oh, so sorry of course I mean Thanh :-)

Reply

eat, little bird 15 June 2012 at 3:21 pm

No worries! I hear and see a lot of variations of my first name ;-) In fact, a good friend of mine calls me Tang – it’s been a joke between us since we were little. I also call her something silly :-)

Reply

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 15 June 2012 at 2:46 pm

I’ve always wanted to try these! They look lovely.

Reply

eat, little bird 15 June 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks, Katrina! They were on my to-cook list for some time and were pretty quick and easy to whip up, so I’m surprised I left it this long.

Reply

NYinRome 15 June 2012 at 3:05 pm

Love the recip, and love that cup! And your well spoken simplicity :)

Reply

eat, little bird 15 June 2012 at 3:24 pm

Ooh I love that teacup too :-) I bought it in the US and remember having to cradle it in my handbag so that it wouldn’t break in transit. Went through airport security and I had difficulties explaining why I had a lone teacup in my handbag!

Reply

Heather 15 June 2012 at 5:14 pm

I love crumpets. There is a cute little shop in Seattle that makes the best maple, candies pecan, cream cheese crumpet. So excited to have this recipe. Now I can create my very own.

p.s love the detailed tutorial.

Heather

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 9:33 am

Wow, that sounds like a loaded crumpet! Yum!

Reply

Caroline 15 June 2012 at 6:48 pm

LOL @ TANG, don’t know if you are aware of the brand of orange juice concentrated powder called Tang? My guilty treat as a child :-)

I was introduced to crumpets only after living in the UK and that too, only after my best friend came for a visit and we were shopping at Tesco’s. She gasped when she heard that i had never eaten me, and promptly set out to edcuate me. Needless to say, I was having a toasted crumpted with honey or jam or just salted butter (haas to be salted) pretty much everyday after that, for months! Didn’t help i was pregnant either lol..

The adore the photos here Thanh, that breakfast scene is so warm and inviting! Like a little window into your home :-)

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 6:43 pm

LOL!! No, I haven’t heard of this brand, although my friend would have a good chuckle if she saw it.

I have never tried crumpets with salted butter, but I do like the sound of that – I seem to be reaching for the salted butter more and more these days. Must try this combination soon!

Reply

Caroline 18 June 2012 at 6:37 am

How bad are my typos in that comment!!! Ugh..

Oh toasted anything with salted butter is the bees knees. For crumpets though, my uber delishush way of having them is salted butter, with a drizzle of honey..drroooooool, the salty, sweet, sticky, smooth combination has me on my knees!

A moment…I need to compose myself!

Reply

TheSpicySaffron 15 June 2012 at 7:53 pm

The sight itself is so delicious. …(needless to say, that includes the gorgeous teacup!!)…love the generous spread of jam on your crumpets.

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 6:45 pm

Thank you! I should mention that it’s homemade strawberry jam, also from Rachel Allen’s Bake :-) It’s so so delicious.

Reply

Melange 15 June 2012 at 8:04 pm

Wow,the spirit behind making those crumpets is worth it..Your clicks are another beautiful fact..And yes,all your compositions looks excellent.The properties especially that tea cup,I am gone for it..Cheers !

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 6:47 pm

I’m so happy to hear that you like these photos :-) And that you also noticed the tea cup! I just adore it.

Reply

Maureen 16 June 2012 at 4:08 am

There was a restaurant I went into one time their specialty being crumpets. I could sit at the counter and watch the cook turning out dozens at a time. He did use rings, they were flat on the bottom and the top was filled with holes. I have heard that the holes happen when adding extra baking powder.

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 6:50 pm

Baking powder … I must research some more recipes. I wonder if there are recipes which use baking powder instead of yeast, or both? I love the sound of this restaurant – definitely a place I would love to go to for breakfast! And they sound like the crumpets from my memory – not split in the middle.

Reply

Caroline 18 June 2012 at 6:38 am

Thanh, Rachel Allan has a recipe for Crumpets in Bake! Just noticed that yesterday.

Reply

eat, little bird 18 June 2012 at 11:49 am

Um … the recipe I used above is from Bake …

Reply

Paula 16 June 2012 at 9:37 am

I love crumpets!! And I’m sure I’d like something similar also :P But I have not tried a genuine one in Britain, nor store-bought :P I only have eaten crumpets homemade, so I don’t know what’s right or no, only if it’s delicious.

I have more than one recipe, and some are more like and english muffin, cos you split them (but they also have the little holes on the surface), and I have recipes where they seem a pancake with little holes.

I saw them in Paris some weeks ago, in a Marks&Spencer and I was surprised because they were the pancake-type, very thin. So I imagine are similar that those you bought at home. When I make them, they are not so tall as a muffin, and not so thin as a pancake, is more between both of them, and I don’t split them :)

Love the photos and the step by step, cute breakfast! :P

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 6:56 pm

There is a Marks & Spencer in Paris now?? I must visit the store the next time I am there! That’s interesting that they sold flat pancake-like crumpets as I always thought crumpets had to be quite thick. My first batch were quite thick and tall like an English muffin, but I realised that I didn’t have enough batter so my second batch were a bit flatter.

It would be interesting for you to try a commercial crumpet, see how it compares to homemade. There have been some recipes which I have made at home, not knowing how it was meant to taste because I had never tried it before. Quite often, the homemade version is always better :-)

Reply

Paula 17 June 2012 at 9:41 am

Yes, M&S is back in Paris! You can find it at Champs Élysées, and it’s a little small (well, very small!!), but however, you can find lot of English food (as rhubarb pie, rhubarb rolls and all the rhubarb I haven’t in Spain :P ).

As you, I think when I make a recipe I have not eaten, if mine is right, or if it’s not what is mean to taste :P

We didn’t buy the crumpets in M&S cos we choose the rhubarb roll and scotch pancakes ;)

Reply

eat, little bird 18 June 2012 at 11:53 am

We will be visiting London shortly and I fear I will be coming back with a suitcase full of food! That’s great that you can buy some English food so readily in Paris.

Did you enjoy the scotch pancakes? In Australia, we call them pikelets. I have a few recipes (here and here) for them on this blog :-)

Reply

narf7 16 June 2012 at 1:18 pm

I think that commercial crumpets use baking powder to get the results that they do. I LOVE crumpets but am a total puritan when it comes to what goes on them…salted butter and ONLY that. Nothing else or that delicious spongy savoury taste is ruined. I tried to make them once and ended up with English muffins and was most despondent. I might have to give them another go…I guess it’s like the difference between baked doughnuts and yeasted fried doughnuts? Oh well…back to the drawing board :) Your post was delightfully scrumptious as usual :)

Reply

eat, little bird 16 June 2012 at 7:01 pm

You’re the second person to mention salted butter with crumpets! I really must try this soon then :-)

A lot of books say that crumpets are a close cousin to the English muffin, which is perhaps true in terms of size and how they are cooked. If I had to compare the commercial varieties, I can definitely tell them apart. Perhaps the homemade versions make them much more similar. Whilst I was disappointed that I couldn’t recreate proper crumpets on this occasion, they still tasted good so it wasn’t a wasted effort, thankfully. My next task will be to make English muffins and I can’t wait!

Reply

Anita Menon 16 June 2012 at 9:51 pm

They look so beautiful They are yeasted breads and still aren’t baked. Thats an intriguing recipe. I want to give it a shot but for the rings which I would have to buy first.

Reply

eat, little bird 17 June 2012 at 12:40 am

You’ve raised an interesting point. Another thing is that breads usually have two periods of rising and these only have one. You definitely need metal rings to make these to help them keep their shape and rise, but you could also use large cookie cutters if you can’t find special English muffin or crumpet rings.

Reply

Liz Headon 18 June 2012 at 12:48 am

They’re not *quite* crumpets as I know them, but they still look delicious ! And salted butter is always my butter of choice, unless a recipe absolutely insists on unsalted. Certainly for things like toast and crumpets, I feel it’s a “must” !

Reply

Caroline 18 June 2012 at 6:40 am

Agreed!!!! Thanh, yer missing out, need to get you on the salted butter bandwagon :-)

Reply

eat, little bird 18 June 2012 at 12:00 pm

This thing about salted butter on crumpets is interesting. It must be an adult thing? The last time I ate crumpets was probably when I was still at school and I can tell you that I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near salted butter as a kid!

These days, I like to have salted butter on my bread, especially toast, but I wouldn’t mix salted butter with anything else, like jam or honey – it has to be salted butter on its own. When we’re in restaurants, I even often find myself grinding a bit of salt on the table butter before spreading it on my bread roll. It’s probably a big faux pas but I can’t resist :-)

Reply

Jennifer (Delicieux) 18 June 2012 at 11:53 am

I loved crumpets as a child, and I think your right, part of the allure was watching the butter melt into the little holes. I’ve always wanted to try making my own, but they are yet another thing on my never ending list of things to make. The main delay has been not having rings to cook them with. While yours don’t look quite like the dimply store bought version I bet they taste a world better!

Reply

eat, little bird 18 June 2012 at 12:05 pm

I’m glad I’ve been able to tick these off my embarrassingly long to-make list, but crumpets were up there with English muffins, so I hope to give the latter a try soon. I found the rings for English muffins in a kitchen store in Naperville, out in the mid-west in the US! Quite an unlikely place to find them and whilst I haven’t yet used them as intended, it’s good to know that you can also use them for other recipes :-)

Reply

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy 19 June 2012 at 9:10 am

Oh these look wonderful! I have been meaning to make crumpets for a while now as they are my Sunday breakfast of choice. I love your step by step instructions!

Reply

eat, little bird 20 June 2012 at 10:44 pm

Thanks, Anna! Sunday breakfast at your place sounds really good :-)

Reply

Sneh | Cook Republic 19 June 2012 at 1:23 pm

Such a gorgeous post! I love the pictures of the process, makes the recipe seem very approachable and not at all daunting :-)

Reply

eat, little bird 20 June 2012 at 10:46 pm

Thanks, Sneh! For a recipe which includes yeast, this was a relatively easy recipe and, thank goodness, because I would not have otherwise contemplated making crumpets at home!

Reply

Rushi 22 June 2012 at 5:01 pm

Can you believe that I’ve never never had crumpets in my entire life, will remedy that when I head to London soon and then try this recipe out (because I need to get those rings as well).

Yup the M&S in Paris is not as large as the one they closed down years ago, they’re focusing more on food. I wish you’d move to Paris and sell all your yummy food, I’d be one of your devoted customers for sure :)

Reply

eat, little bird 22 June 2012 at 7:10 pm

Good to know I would have at least one customer in Paris ;-) A few friends have suggested that I should go into catering or have a market stall – the latter could be quite fun! We will be in Paris shortly and I would be curious to see the M&S store, though there is always so much to see and do. I think a visit to Dehillerin is well overdue!

When you’re in London, I would suggest buying some crumpets from the supermarket to see how they taste because I think the homemade versions are a bit different. Since posting this recipe, I have been looking at a few others which all describe crumpets as a variation of the English muffin, which is pretty true. The rings are quite cheap and you can use them for both crumpets and English muffins, as well as frying eggs :-)

Reply

thelittleloaf 23 June 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’ve always wanted to make my own crumpets but have always been put off by how difficult they look to make. Yours look beautifully homemade and I bet they taste a million times better than anything you can buy in the shops. Yum.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: