For the last two weeks we have been trialing crumpets recipes. Why now? First because this has always been on my mind, but never a top priority. At the moment, we are hosting my French niece. She has discovered crumpets with friends of ours while staying with them for a few weeks (I sent her there in June to ensure a full English immersion). Stating the obvious, crumpets are an english breakfast item. No chance to find them in France in supermarkets! We decided she may as well go home with a recipe that works well. So we have been actively seeking the right recipe!
The first go at crumpets was with a recipe out of an internet search, far from being a success. The next go was using a recipe from my yellow cooking notebook. I do not recall where that recipe came from, I had scribbled it on a piece of paper a couple of years ago, inserted it in one of the plastic sleeves, and it was there waiting for the right day! The “yellow notebook” is the second one of the type, there is also a red one, now full.
After that, I did another internet search and decided to put to the test three recipes simultaneously:
- The yellow book recipe from who knows where;
- A Jamie Oliver crumpet recipe;
- A recipe from Gourmet Traveller.
The comparative test
First I brought back all recipes to 200 mL of milk. This is expected to produce 6 crumpets of 10 cm diameter. Plenty to trial with and judge!
As indicated below, the main difference is in the amount of yeast and the use of butter or not. The Jamie Oliver’s recipe has slightly more flour. As a result that dough is a little tighter.
|Yellow book recipe||Jamie Oliver recipe||Gourmet Travellers recipe|
|Milk||200 mL||200 mL||200 mL|
|Plain flour||125 g||150 g||125 g|
|Butter||1 tbsp (10 g)||None||10 g|
|dry yeast||7 g||4 g||2 g|
|bicarbonate soda||1/2 tsp||1/4 tsp||1/4 tsp|
|white sugar||1 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|oil/butter for cooking||oil||oil||butter|
As represented in the above photo from left to right.
Yellow book recipe: Very good, very tasty, more complex flavour (due to the butter and the strong flavour brought by the fresh yeast
Jamie Oliver’s crumpets: Very good. closer in taste to commercial crumpets (the dough is a bit heavy)
Gourmet Travellers’ recipe: surprisingly chewy, not my favourite, but the dough is a pleasure to work with (perfect consistency)
I used my crepe pans, perfect for that. I had some non-stick crumpet rings.
We wanted to try the with and without flipping the crumpet methods. The benefit of not flipping it is to keep the bubbles open at the top so when you place butter, honey, jam or maple syrup over the crumpet, it all falls into the holes. Double yummy!
I found that flipping the crumpets ensures that they are cooked on both sides, it is a nice finish look also. When we did not cook them on the other side, we have had some dryer results and a few burnt bottom ones. It may be worth looking into using a lid so the steam can be cooking the top part of the crumpet.
The winning recipe:
Personally, I am quite happy with the recipe that was in my yellow book. I however find the ratio of yeast to flour a bit high and may reduce it in the future. For indication 7 g would be used with 250 g of flour.
The full method is HERE.