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 form 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 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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
To foam the batter: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 24 crumpets
- 12 fl oz / 350ml semi-skimmed milk, warmed but not boiling
- 1 lb/ 450g all purpose or plain flour
- 1/8 oz/ 5g dried yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 12 fl oz /350ml finger-warm water (approx)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1tsp baking powder
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- Whisk together the milk, flour, yeast and sugar. 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 draft free place until foaming - about 1, up to 2 hours.
- Whisk the salt and baking powder into the batter then heat a heavy based frying pan on the stove to 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.
- Place one ring in the heated pan, add 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/or jam.
- 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.