Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holey crumpet!

I know I promised salad recipes, and salad you will get, but let’s be honest, who wants salad when you can have crumpets?! Yes, you heard me – moist, fluffy, crunchy, buttery, melty HOMEMADE crumpets. Oh yeah.

I don’t know if you’ve bought crumpets recently, but it seems like the only ones available at the supermarket are made by Tip Top (urgh) and have that slightly sour, smelly chemical taste that characterises all highly processed supermarket bread – no wonder I never really liked crumpets and always picked an English Muffin over its holey cousin the crumpet. My years of crumpet-avoiding is a shame, because crumpets should be a delicious thing, and if you take a little time and effort and follow this recipe you too can be converted, or even better, if you already like crumpets, you’ll be in soft crumpety heaven.

These delightful little jam and butter vessels (because let’s be honest – the reason a crumpet has holes in it is so it can suck up more butter and jam than toast ever could) are not your everyday sort of breakfast food, not just because of aforementioned butter-sucking, but also because they use yeast, and therefore, take a serious time commitment.

Being uncharacteristically well organised and forward thinking – these crumpets were started the night before, and instead of leaving the mixture to rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, it was stuck in the fridge overnight for about 12 (we were on holidays and doing a lot of sleeping, ok!?) and then pulled out in the morning, finished off and cooked. Unless you want to be eating breakfast at least 2 hours after you start cooking, I can highly recommend this overnight method.

These crumpets were enjoyed in the perfect setting, on my parents’ deck, watching the sea, where, like the crumpet, life is slow, and watching a container ship move across the horizon is sufficient for a morning’s entertainment.

1tbs caster sugar
7g/1 sachet dried yeast
250ml warm milk
250ml warm water
2 cups plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour (I ran out of plain flour and substituted wholemeal – I think it really added something to the crumpets, but it’s totally optional)
1tsp salt
250ml water
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
Butter to grease
Butter, honey, jam etc to serve

Combine warm milk and water in a medium sized bowl.

Dissolve sugar and yeast into the liquid – put aside for about 10mins until the mixture starts to bubble and froth.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.

Make a well in the center and gradually add the milk/yeast mixture – stir until well combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and either a) leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size or b) chuck it in the fridge and go to bed – when you get up, pull it out of the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature and then continue with the recipe.

Combine extra water and bicarb soda in a jug and slowly add to the mixture, beating well until smooth. The mixture should be pourable - if not, add some extra water.

Cover batter and leave to rest for 30mins.

Heat a large non-stick fry pan and melt in a knob of butter over medium heat.

Grease as many egg rings as you have and place them in a pan.

Turn down heat to medium-low and pour about ¼ cup of mixture into each ring.

Allow each crumpet to cook for about 7mins or until it looks dry and bubbled on the top.

Use tongs to remove the egg rings and flip the crumpets.

Cook an extra 30secs to 1min on to brown up the other side.

Enjoy a well deserved breakfast of butter-sucking fresh crumpets.


  1. Oh yum! I would lurve one of these (OK, three of these!) for afternoon tea right now.

  2. The crumpets were absolutely delicious. They inspired a bit of a bake-off
    with English muffins being on the menu for breakfast the next morning. Bliss!

  3. Cindy - considering how time consuming these little babies are, afternoon-crumpets is probably a wonderful idea.

    Anon/Alan - damn that I never got to try those muffins, unfair! You'll have to make them again soon.

  4. I don't know what I did wrong, but on medium to low heat the bubbles never came up. I turned the heat up to just above medium and then I got some holes. It also set on the top, i then flipped and gave it another couple of minutes on the other side. They looked good, but were too mushy on the inside. I wonder if my batter was possibly too runny???
    Anyway, the taste was good. And I ended up making them without an egg ring for the last quarter of the batter which resulted in holey pancakes that cooked much better and still soaked up plenty of butter and honey.
    So not a complete success, but not a failure either. I think I will have to practice some more. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Alex,

    Sorry to hear your crumpets weren't a raging success... Perhaps the problem was that you were making them too thick? Maybe give it a shot without filling the egg rings all the way to the top, make them quite flat because they will grow a little as they cook, and if they're a bit thinner they'll have a chance to cook through.

    Glad they tasted good though - what's the point of a crumpet other than to soak up butter and honey?!

    Thanks for commenting