Crumpets are the quintessential, afternoon tea treat, served warm with lots of butter. The soft, spongy crumpets we know today, reputedly, come from the Victorian era and are very different from early, flat griddle cakes. It is the extra yeast in the batter which creates the soft texture and the myriad of little holes on the top (so perfect for soaking up the butter).
There are many ready-made brands out there, but it is so much fun to make your own - just plan ahead as the crumpet batter needs a few hours to rise.
Once ready simply serve the crumpets warm with butter or a little jam as well for an extra-special treat. This recipe yields 24 crumpets, if that is too many then, the recipe can be halved.
NOTE: Make a little extra batter the first time so you can practice, getting them right including the temperature in the pan. It only takes one or two and then you are off. Great fun.
- 12 fl oz (350ml) semi-skimmed milk, warmed (but importantly, not boiling)
- 1 lb (450g) all-purpose/plain flour
- 1/8 oz (5g) dried yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 12 fl oz (350 ml) finger-warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- Whisk together the milk, flour, yeast and sugar in a large baking bowl.
- Once combined add half the water and beat into the batter, continue to add more water until the batter is thick and smooth. Stop adding water once it reaches the consistency of thick cream. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm draught-free place until foaming - about 1, up to 2 hours, but keep an eye on it.
- Whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter and heat a heavy-based frying pan on the stove until hot but not smoking.
- Dampen kitchen paper with a little oil and grease the base of the pan and a crumpet (or pastry) rings measuring 3"x 1 ½" (8 X 3.75cm) approx. If you don't have any pastry or crumpet rings then use a small, washed food can to the same measurements, just be careful with any sharp edges.
- Place one ring in the heated pan, add in enough batter to fill just below the top of the ring. Cook for five minutes, when there should be many tiny holes on the surface, and the crumpet is setting. Flip the crumpet over and cook for another two – three minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining batter until used up. Rest the crumpets on a wire rack until cool and reheat in a toaster or under the grill before serving. Serve with lots of butter and jam as well if you like.
- NOTE: If the batter seeps from under the ring it is too thin, whisk in more flour. If the crumpet is heavy and without holes, the batter is too thick, add more water.
How to Serve British Crumpets
With lots of butter, and for a major treat, lots of, preferably, home-made jam.