What are crumpets, anyway?

by Rebekahcooked up on December 7, 2012

What do you get when you cross a yeasted pancake with an English muffin? Probably a crumpet, it turns out. I know! I had no idea.

My brother actually asked me what a crumpet was a while back (I have no idea why we were talking about British food), and I told him I thought it was like an English muffin. Well, they look like an English muffin, and like many English muffins they are made on a griddle, but that’s about where it ends. They seem more like pancakes. Most importantly: they are very delicious.

This is another recipe that is adapted from Simply Great Breads, a really wonderful little cookbook that is perfect for the baker in your life (non-sponsored recommendation by the way). Each recipe is so foolproof and simple – I just can’t believe how little I’ve had to alter the recipes we’ve made. Many times when I make a baking recipe, I have to adjust it for something – dryness, salt, yeast, etc. Not so for any one of the recipes we’ve made from Simply Great Breads. They all turn out perfectly the first time. I need to actually buy this book instead of just checking it out from the library over and over.

We made a few adjustments to this recipe, but the one that I really suggest you do is to make them with half whole wheat flour. The flavor was just perfect!

• 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
• 2 cups AP flour
• 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups room temperature water, plus more if necessary
• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 2/3 cup room temperature milk
• Nonstick spray, for greasing the cake rings*

*I do not own “cake rings” but we have metal cookie cutters, and that is what we used, along with a couple of wide-mouth Mason jar lids. They worked just fine. Spray them very well with nonstick spray each time you use them. And be careful! They will be hot.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the AP flour, whole wheat flour, cream of tartar and salt just to combine. Meanwhile, whisk the water, yeast and sugar together in a different bowl and allow to foam for 10 minutes.

Mix the yeast mixture into the dry mixture on low speed in the mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof in the warmest part of your house in for an hour and a half.

Stir the baking soda into the milk so that it dissolves. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the rest of the batter and stir together. The batter should look like pancake batter- pretty thin, but not too thin.

Heat cast iron skillet or griddle pan over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Place your cake rings/cookie cutters/whathaveyou on the griddle, and SLOWLY pour batter into the rings until they are about 3/4 full. A little bit might run out the sides, but if your griddle is already hot it should cook before it gets very far.

Cook for 6 to 8 minutes on the first side, until you see holes (from popped bubbles) on the top of the crumpets. Pull off the rings and flip the crumpets over to cook for another 2-3 minutes. We ate most of them with butter, but they’d be great with any of your traditional favorite breakfast stuff – jam, peanut butter, etc. The are also delicious plain!

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