Crumpets are English tea time snacks that are made from a dough of flour, milk, yeast, and salt. They are cooked on a griddle or frying pan and usually have a hole in the middle which allows steam to escape while they cook.
Table of Contents
The crumpet has become synonymous with English culture. The small griddle-baked cakes date back to before the 17th century and were commonly known as picklets. Their origins are reportedly Welsh, however, they are popular throughout the United Kingdom.
The first published crumpet recipe was featured in The Experienced English Housekeeper. The picklet’s evolution into the crumpet is unclear, but the name likely originates from the cake's crumpled appearance or the Welsh crempot pancake.
The crumpet consists of eggs, butter, salt, milk, sugar, flour, and leavening agents varying from yeast to baking powder. You fry crumpets on a griddle to achieve their crispy edges. The crumpet is most recognizable by its cratered surface and crisp outside.
The crumpet is usually served at tea time in the U.K. or eaten for breakfast. It is traditionally eaten with butter and jam.
The History of Crumpets
Is there any food more British than a crumpet? Served for breakfast and at tea-time, crumpets have been a part of the Anglo-Saxon diet since the 17th Century, though similar recipes exist prior even to that.
Despite the popularity in British culture, the crumpet’s origins are relatively unknown. There are references to crompid cakes as far back as the 14th Century. Most historians speculate that the crumpet hails from Wales based on the etymology of its name.
Before the 18th Century, crumpets were typically called pyglyds, later anglicized to picklets. The recipe for picklets was first published in 1769 in The Experienced English Housekeeper based on the Welsh recipe for bara pyglyd, or sticky bread.
In Wales and much of the British countryside, ovens were not as prolific and fuel was expensive, so the poor and middle class of the country would choose to fry their breakfast on griddles over the stove or fire to save fuel.
The modern crumpet likely originates from the old Welsh recipe, and the word crumpet is likely derived from the Welsh language as well. The Welsh have their crempogs and crempots, a griddle cake remarkably similar to today’s crumpet.
The crempot and crumpets from before the 19th Century were hard griddle pancakes. But, when baking soda and baking powder hit the market in the 19th Century, the spongy, soft crumpets of today were born.
Crumpets are markedly a cuisine of the United Kingdom and its close protectorates and Commonwealth countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. English muffins are the closest variant in the United States, but crumpets are not mass-produced in the U.S.
What are Crumpets made of?
Crumpet ingredients vary based on country and region, but most recipes contain the following ingredients:
- Baking Powder Or Baking Soda
Crumpets form a great part of a breakfast and are really handy snack. Over in the UK you would typically have them with some butter and maybe some jam as a treat.
Out in restaurants and brunch venues you might see your crumpets topped with poached opr scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce as part of an Eggs benedict dish.
Crumpet Nutritional Information
The actual nutritional content in a crumpet will depend on the recipe, but a mass-produced variation by Warburton's Family Bakers contains 3 grams of protein per serving, 19 grams of carbs, and only 1 gram of sugar. They are fairly low in sodium and fat but are also low in fiber.
Approx values based on a 100g portion.
Crumpets are typically made with white flour and have fewer vitamins and nutrients than wheat bread variations.
How to Make Crumpets
Crumpets are fairly easy and quick to make. Most crumpet recipes use warmed milk, typically done over the stove, with the skin removed from the top before use. Once the milk has warmed, you mix the dry ingredients, including yeast, flour, and sugar, into the warm milk.
Crumpets are made from batter, not dough. You add water to the milk-flour mixture until it resembles cream or pancake batter. Like bread loaves, the batter undergoes a proofing process until doubled in size. Once ready, you fry the batter on a pre-heated griddle.
For perfectly round crumpets, fry them in a circular crumpet ring. For a traditional Welsh pyglyg, simply pour the batter into the pan and fry it free-form.
You cook crumpets on the griddle until air bubbles form on their surface. You then flip the crumpets to cook on the other side for a minute or two. Once cooked, crumpets are usually served hot with butter or jam alongside tea.
Crumpets recipes vary greatly based on region. The Welsh favor the uneven and less spongy texture of their pyglyg more than the English variations. Typically, crumpets are a simple recipe, but they easily adapt to new ingredients.
Adding cinnamon or honey to the batter makes a sweeter crumpet. For a more savory crumpet, consider mixing shredded cheese into the batter.
The most common variation comes with how you serve crumpets. Clotted cream, butter, and jam are common toppings provided with crumpets. Crumpet sandwiches topped with eggs and bacon or ham are another more filling variation for your enjoyment.
Crumpets became popular in England during the Victorian era as a light snack to have with tea. They were originally made from leftover bread dough that was fried in animal fat.
Crumpets have a slightly yeasty flavor and a spongy texture. They are usually served with butter and jam, or honey.
Crumpets are made with a dough that contains baking powder, while English muffins are made with a dough that does not contain baking powder. Crumpets are also cooked on a griddle, while English muffins are cooked in a frying pan.
Crumpets can be served with butter and jam, honey, or cheese. They can also be toasted and served with tea or coffee.
Crumpets will last for about 2-3 days if they are stored in an airtight container.
Yes, crumpets can be frozen for up to 3 months.
The best way to reheat crumpets is in the oven or microwave.
A crumpet contains about 50-60 calories.
No, crumpets are not gluten free as they are made with flour.
No, crumpets are not vegan as they contain milk and eggs.
Yes, crumpets are vegetarian as they do not contain meat or fish.
Crumpets are a good source of carbohydrates and protein. They also contain some vitamin B and iron.
Crumpets originated in England and are often associated with English tea time.
Crumpets have been made in England since the Middle Ages. They were originally made from leftover bread dough that was fried in animal fat. Crumpets became popular in England during the Victorian era as a light snack to have with tea.
Crumpets are made from a dough of flour, milk, yeast, and salt. They are cooked on a griddle or frying pan and usually have a hole in the middle which allows steam to escape while they cook.
Crumpets are made with a dough that contains baking powder, while pancakes are made with a dough that does not contain baking powder. Crumpets are also cooked on a griddle, while pancakes are cooked in a frying pan.
Crumpets are made with a dough that contains baking powder, while waffles are made with a dough that does not contain baking powder. Crumpets are also cooked on a griddle, while waffles are cooked in a waffle iron.
Yes, crumpets can be made without eggs by using an egg replacement such as flaxseed meal or chia seeds.
Yes, crumpets can be made without milk by using a non-dairy milk such as almond milk or soy milk.