Crumpets are an Anglo-Saxon invention. Initially, they were hard pancakes baked on a griddle. The term has Celtic origins and dates from the 1600’s and is related to the Breton “kranpoez” ( a thin, flat pancake) or the Welch type of pancake called, ‘crempog”. Today’s version likely developed in the Victorian era, when bakers added yeast and baking powder to the recipe. Before being served, generously butter, and often sprinkled with a pinch of salt. They may be topped with a poached egg or a slice of bacon or smeared with honey jam, or syrup. In our recipe, we made a batch of Orange Blossom Whipped Honey Butter, a real treat and easy to make.
This recipe is a weekend treat and so much fun to make. Though they require a little bit of patience, they are beyond worth the time and effort. If you make a larger batch you can freeze or refrigerate and top in the toaster to reheat later in the week. Just like cooking a batch of pancakes, if your first one or two don’t turn out, be patient – it only takes a few to get the hang of it.
Makes about 12 Crumpets.
- Gently warm the milk to just above room temperature. Warm milk will activate your yeast. In a bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm milk. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes, or until frothy.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and tepid water.
- Stir from the centre outwards until the consistency of thick pancake batter – this will take a few minutes. Add a splash more water, if needed.
- Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 30-45 minutes or until little mixture has doubled and bubbles form on the surface.
- Grease 10cm egg rings with vegetable oil. If you don’t have egg rings, use any round mould that you have. If you think that crumpet making is your new Sunday tradition, you can buy crumpet moulds online. Wipe oil around a large, non-stick frying pan and place over medium-high heat.
- Arrange the rings in the frying pan and, once hot, spoon 4-5 tablespoons of the batter into each ring (or until the ring is 2/3 full). Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until little bubbles appear on the surface. Adjust heat if the crumpets are browning before the centre of the crumpet is cooked.
- Once the bubbles have burst, leaving behind small holes, carefully lift off the rings with tongs, flip over the crumpets, and cook for another 1 minute to toast slightly. Re-grease ring and pan before cooking the next batch.
- Serve your crumpets warm, with butter or our whipped honey butter recipe below and your favourite jam. Or for a savoury twist, top with bacon and a fried egg.
Try topping with Orange Blossom Whipped Honey Butter
- 100g unsalted butter – softened
- 3 tbsp of honey
- Orange zest
Put the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until soft and whipped. Add honey and beat until combined. (don’t overbeat or butter will separate) Stir in about a tsp of orange zest. Store in a cool spot until ready to use.
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