Back in my youth, before I hit my terminal oatmeal phase, crumpets were my daily breakfast staple. Run through the toaster just long enough to warm through, but not crisp, nothing could beat that speed and versatility. These were the dark ages before good vegan butter existed, so I would usually opt for a light smear of creamy peanut butter instead. If I was feeling particularly decadent, it would get a sprinkle of cinnamon and sliced banana on top, too. In the spare few minutes I had before running off to catch the train to school, that was the height of luxury.
I don’t know why I stopped eating crumpets. There were no supply chain issues to blame, no big falling out I can recall. I just seemed to suddenly forget about them for two decades.
And then, just as suddenly, that familiar craving came rushing back in a tsunami wave of nostalgia.
The texture is reminiscent of many similar bread products, yet stands alone as its own unique entity. Soft, spongy, and chewy, most people compare them to English muffins or pancakes, but I’d say they’re more like really thick injera made from wheat flour.
They’re very simple, yet surprisingly difficult to perfect. This was not my first attempt at making crumpets; shamefully, I’ve churned out more smooth flapjacks than I’d like to admit. It turns out that the secret is… Cheating.
It’s not anything as terrible as copying your classmate during the final exam. It just feels a bit like trickery when the key to creating that signature network of lacy holes is- Now don’t judge me here- To poke them open with a toothpick.
It’s not all forced, artificially manipulated texture, since they do bubble up naturally. A tiny touch of extra vital wheat gluten ensures that chewy texture, but it also makes the protein network just slightly too strong to burst open without a bit of help. You don’t need to go crazy and jab at the little skillet cakes relentlessly, but give them a little poke while you’re standing over the stove already, and they’ll be better than store-bought.
The holes are really what make crumpets so special. Providing a lacy network of pockets for clotted cream or melting butter to pool, it’s almost like a super soft waffle. They were made to be topped, lavishly or simply, to reach their full potential.
Crumpets are made of humble ingredients, with a downright silly preparation, but that’s all part of the fun. If you’ve ever wanted to relive your childish days of popping bubbles for fun, here’s a more productive way to indulge.
- 2 Cups Warm Water
- 1 (1/4-Ounce) Packet Active Dry Yeast
- 2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose or White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water and yeast. Let rest for 5 - 10 minutes until the yeast reactivates and becomes lightly frothy.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat gluten, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Add the wet mixture into the bowl of dry and stir with a wide spatula to bring the dough together. It should be slightly thicker than standard pancake batter. Let stand for about 15 minutes in a warm place for bubbles to emerge on the surface.
- When you're ready to cook, set a nonstick skillet over medium heat and lightly grease 2 - 3 metal ring molds at a time.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each ring, spreading it out gently to evenly fill the shape. Resist the urge to fill them to the top, since the batter will rise and become impossible to get out of the ring later.
- Cook for 1 minutes before turning the heat down to low. Let them cook slowly as bubbles begin to rise to the surface, particularly around the edges. After about 5 minutes, take a toothpick to poke open the ones you can see struggling to open up; more will appear towards the center over time. Remove the rings once the sides are set.
- After a total of about 10 minutes, the top should be set an no longer shiny. If you'd like, you can flip the crumpets to lightly brown the tops, but I like leaving them super soft for toasting later.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining batter. Enjoy warm, slathered with vegan butter, jam, or peanut butter.
To save your crumpets for later, let them cool completely before stashing in an airtight baggie. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months. Revive by running them through the toaster until piping hot.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.